In a deal estimated to be worth more than €2 billion, Hungary is set to be the first NATO and EU member country to order Rheinmetall’s newly developed Lynx IFV. Hungary has ordered 218 Lynx infantry fighting vehicles, with some of the vehicles to be manufactured in Hungary as part of a joint venture between the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall.
This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defence market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s new combat vehicle. The Lynx IFV combines survivability, off-road mobility and overall combat effectiveness. It is heavily armed, highly protected and extremely agile, and lends itself to military operations ranging from peace enforcement missions to high-intensity combat. The Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) was recently selected by Australia to compete in the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) trials for the $15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 program. The Lynx KF41 is a next generation tracked, networked and highly protected IFV.
The €2 billion deal with the Hungarian Ministry of Defence includes the supply of tracked armoured vehicles and related products and services. The contractual agreement, which was signed in Budapest, encompasses 218 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles and nine Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles.
The contract includes additional products and services such as simulators, training and instruction, plus an initial supply of spare parts as well as maintenance support. The Lynx IFVs will be equipped with Rheinmetall's manned 30 mm Lance turret. Looking ahead, Rheinmetall sees further potential orders stemming from this contract. Given an expected service life of several decades, the Lynx will require spare parts and regular maintenance in order to remain operationally ready.
During the first phase of production, Hungary is to receive 46 Lynx infantry fighting vehicles as well as nine Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles, which will all be built in Germany; delivery is to be completed by the start of 2023. In the second production phase, an additional 172 Lynx vehicles will be built in Hungary. In August 2020, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed to establish a joint venture for creating a Lynx production facility in Hungary, to be financed by a local company.
Rheinmetall will hold a majority stake and take the lead in the joint venture company to be set up in order to produce the Lynx in Hungary. In the process, Hungary will make a material investment in the project in the form of a newly constructed production facility. The resulting centre of excellence for the development, production and maintenance of armoured vehicles will create an important nucleus for the Hungarian defence industry, ensuring that a substantial share of the added value deriving from the procurement project takes place in the customer country.
Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall, described the Hungarian deal as a major market breakthrough. “The fact that we were able to convince Hungary – an important EU and NATO partner – to choose this innovative vehicle makes this success all the greater. In making this forward-looking procurement decision, Hungary’s top political and military officials have demonstrated real leadership. Not only does the move place Hungary at the forefront of European army technology. It reaffirms the Hungarian government’s commitment to being a reliable, more militarily effective partner of its NATO allies, a policy which it is pursuing with systematic energy.”
For Hungary, the Lynx IFVorder represents a big step in its efforts to introduce a new generation of military equipment, with key systems that meet the latest NATO standards. The Lynx is currently competing in similar procurement programmes in the neighbouring Czech Republic as well as in Australia. The majority of the Lance turrets for the first phase will be produced and supplied from the Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Lynx Around the World (Video by Rheinmetall)
LYNX: MODULAR, FLEXIBLE, FUTURE PROOF
Less than five years elapsed between the initial idea for a new infantry fighting vehicle and the breakthrough order, including formulation of a strategy and the concept and development phases – an impressive feat for an inhouse-financed combat vehicle in a highly demanding market segment where prolonged procurement cycles are the norm.
The Lynx concept embraces a complete vehicle family, consisting of a chassis module and flexible mission kits in numerous variants. The basic vehicle can be configured as an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier, a command vehicle or field ambulance.
Rheinmetall says switching from one configuration to the other can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Thanks to the uniformity of the basic vehicle, its says the system will result in substantially lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously letting military users adapt to changing tactical requirements and/or leverage new capabilities. The vehicle is purported to have outstanding survivability, mobility and lethality characteristics.
The Lynx IFV's spacious interior is unsurpassed by any vehicle in its class, according to Rheinmetall, assuring the operational effectiveness of its three crew members and up to nine infantry dismounts. The Lynx shields its occupants from the full spectrum of battlefield threats, including explosions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and anti-tank guided missiles.