Page 16 - Australian Defence Magazine Oct 2018
P. 16

Land 400 Phase 3 contenders on show
THE release of the Land 400 Phase 3 Re- quest for Tender (RfT) just two weeks be- fore Land Forces 2018 helped to clarify the contenders vying to supply Army with up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).
Confirmed contenders for the $10-15 billion project comprise Rheinmetall De- fence’s Lynx IFV, General Dynamic Land Systems’ (GDLS) Ajax armoured fighting vehicle, and the Hanwha Group’s AS21 Redback IFV.
Participation by BAE Systems’ CV90 combat vehicle is “under consideration”, as is that of the Puma IFV produced by Rhe- inmetall Defence and Kravis Maffei Weg- mann (KMW).
With the RfT specifying a tracked plat- form, confirmation that Rheinmetall De- fence was withdrawing from contention its 8x8 Boxer in an IFV configuration came as no surprise.
The RfT also stated the Commonwealth’s preference for a manned 30mm turret, but importantly, did not preclude from consid- eration an unmanned turret that met the required technical specifications. Work to include EOS’ turret, as seen in Phase 2, was able to be integrated was also confirmed.
Puma is fitted with an unmanned tur- ret, and a member of the PSM joint venture team marketing the vehicle told ADM its participation remained under consider- ation. Such consideration would presum- ably need to balance any perceived short- comings with an unmanned turret that nevertheless mounts the mandated 30mm cannon against the Puma’s undoubted strengths in the Phase 3 priority hierarchy of protection, lethality and mobility.
The RfT also referred to potential cost efficiencies from commonality with Land 400 Phase 2 under which Rheinmetall De- fence inked a $3.3 billion contract on 17 August for 211 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs).
Ben Hudson, Rheimetall Defence’s global head of vehicle systems, acknowledged the commonality with Lynx of many Boxer sys- tems, including the Lance 2.0 30mm turret.
He also pointed out that the 44-tonne Lynx had been specifically designed with Land 400 Phase 3 requirements in mind.
However, unlike Boxer the Lynx has yet to achieve its first sale, although Hudson did disclose that Rheinmetall Defence is pursuing a multi-billion dollar contract with an undis- closed country for Boxers and Lynx. If suc- cessful, these vehicles would be manufactured in the same facility being built by Rheinmetall at Ipswich for its Land 400 obligations.
Nick Luck, international business de- velopment for General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Australia, confirmed the company would be bidding a variant of its Ares armoured personnel carrier being sup- plied to the UK as part of its Ajax fleet of armoured vehicles.
This would use the Ares hull featuring generic vehicle architecture (GVA, a UK
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