16 Sep 19. Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price have officially confirmed the two downselect contenders for the Army’s multi-billion LAND 400 Phase 3 program.
Defence Connect can tonight confirm the selection of Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia as the two successful downselection contenders in the Army’s multi-billion dollar investment to replace Army’s current fleet of mobility and reconnaissance vehicles.
The LAND 400 Phase 3 Program will replace the M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers providing the Army with an advanced, world-class Infantry Fighting Vehicle capability, both options will provide the Australian Army with a range of capabilities, namely:
Hanwha Defense Systems AS21 Redback: The AS21 will include the capability to integrate active protection systems into an evolved turret system, the Redback will, like its BAE competitor, be capable of hosting a crew of 11 (three crew, eight troops), a top road speed of 70km/h, cross country speed of 40km/h, an operational range of 500 kilometres, with an armament consisting of a 40mm autocannon and a single 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
- Rheinmetall Lynx KF-41: The Lynx KF41 will include the capability to support a crew of 12 (three crew, up to nine troops), have a max road speed of 70km/h, a road range of more than 500 kilometres, with an armament consisting of the Lance 2.0 30-35mm autocannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a variety of additional close-in weapons systems.
Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds said, “These advanced vehicles will provide new levels of protection, firepower, mobility and enhanced communications. This project will deliver Australia a brand-new, cutting edge capability. But we will also ensure we are well placed to work together with industry, to grow and develop the capability over the course of its life.”
Minister Reynolds added, “When fully delivered the LAND 400 Program will allow Army to successfully sustain mounted close combat operations against emerging and future threats, as part of an integrated Australian Defence Force. I thank all tenderers for their significant effort and the resources invested in supporting Phase 3 of this project.”
Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price welcomed the announcement and stressed the importance of Australian Industry Content in the multi-billion recapitalisation program, saying the program provides an exciting opportunity for Australian industry to contribute to building and maintaining these new Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
“Just as with the Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, Australian industry involvement and Australian workers are vital to this project. Phase 3 is another important opportunity for Australian industry to deliver leading-edge technology for our Australian Defence Force,” Minister Price explained.
Further to this, Minister Price explained, “During the testing-phase Defence will work with the shortlisted tenderers to ensure small and medium enterprises across Australia have the opportunity to showcase their capabilities. The two companies have been assessed as offering vehicles that are best able to meet the requirements of the Army while providing value for money for Defence.”
“However, if at any stage of this process there is a need, Defence can invite other tenderers to participate in the shortlist – to make sure we deliver the capability we need to the Army and the best value for the Australian taxpayer,” she added finally.
LAND 400 Phase 3 is a $10-15bn Army program which will recapitalise Army’s Vietnam-era M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) force, with a combination of a tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and tracked APC.
The Risk Mitigation Activity will commence later this year. Following its completion, Defence will undertake a final detailed evaluation of the shortlisted tenders. A decision on the preferred tenderer to supply the Phase 3 capability will be presented to Government for consideration in 2022.
BATTLESPACE Comment: The selection of Hanwa is the sign of a growing trend for the selection of Asian solutions for APCs against the incumbents, hence the MoU agreement announced between ST Engineering and Rheinmetall. BAE’s CV90 was the loser in this contest, which may mean the closure of the line with Haaglunds concentrating on upgrades for the existing fleet? Good news for Rheinmetall which is already well established in Australia flowing its Boxer win.