Tag Archives: Rheinmetall

Future System

Rheinmetall and Elbit Systems have successfully conducted a live fire demonstration of an automated 155-mm L52 (8060 mm) wheeled self-propelled howitzer. The demonstration of the new system took place in early March 2023 at the Shivta firing range in southern Israel. It was attended by high-ranking officials of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary.

ZukSysIndF
Rheinmetall and Elbit Systems carry out live fire demonstration of wheeled self-propelled howitzer

Rheinmetall and Elbit Systems signed a cooperation agreement last year to develop, manufacture and market an automated European 155-mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer system.

Led by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, the «Rheinmetall Elbit» team will compete for Germany’s «Future System, Indirect Fire, Medium-Range (ZukSysIndF)» programme, which will modernize and broaden the Bundeswehr’s artillery capabilities. The UK’s «Mobile Fires Platform» programme also remains a focus and additional potential customers, such as Hungary, have expressed interest.

The cooperation between Rheinmetall and Elbit builds on the fully automated wheeled self-propelled howitzer procurement programmes that Elbit has signed with Israel and additional customers. As a result, a technically mature system is already available, enabling the integration of a Rheinmetall gun into the unmanned, fully robotic artillery turret of the Elbit system. The integration is currently in an advanced phase of the verification process. This will help reduce development risks and enable faster realization of operational readiness.

Intensive bilateral technology transfer is currently underway, increasing the availability of domestic know-how and components. Rheinmetall is currently carrying out modifications to customize the system to European operational requirements and the German regulatory approval process. Furthermore, the Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise brings its tried-and-tested 155-mm L52 gun; high mobility HX 10×10 tactical truck with a well-protected cabin; and electronic components for the fire control unit and sensor suite to the solution.

Rheinmetall is already working to future-proof the solution by enhancing the range of its tube artillery. In addition to the battle-proven L52 and its advanced A1 version, the wheeled self-propelled howitzer is designed to integrate the L60 gun (9300 mm) in the future. The L60 is in development and features a significantly larger chamber and a longer 60-calibre barrel. This gun will be able to attain ranges of up to 83 km/51.6 miles with Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU)-compliant ammunition. The Rheinmetall-Elbit wheeled self-propelled howitzer meets the specifications of the Bundeswehr for a future wheel-based, medium-range indirect fire system.

«We are proud to present the world with this advanced 155-mm artillery system», declared John Abunassar, chief of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems division, and Yehuda (Udi) Vered, general manager of Elbit Systems, in a joint statement. «The successful demonstration of the automated howitzer highlights the synergies and innovative technologies of the Rheinmetall-Elbit team – a team that is uniquely positioned to supply the armed forces of Germany and other nations with an outstanding new tube artillery capability. We are convinced that this joint German-Israeli project will contribute to strengthening ties between our two nations and their armed forces».

Hungarian Defence

On 15 October 2022, Rheinmetall handed over the first of a total of 209 Lynx infantry fighting vehicles to the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF). Just two years after the order was placed, Rheinmetall AG CEO Armin Papperger presented the key to Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky. The handover took place during an oath-taking ceremony of new military service volunteers of the Hungarian Defence Forces at the Petöfi Sándor Barracks in Budapest. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also attended the ceremony. Lynx will become the backbone of Hungary’s mechanised infantry forces.

Lynx IFV
Rheinmetall hands over first Lynx infantry fighting vehicle to NATO member Hungary

«We are very proud to be able to deliver the first Lynx infantry fighting vehicle to our partner Hungary today», said Armin Papperger. «This is an important milestone. Lynx is the most versatile fighting vehicle of its class. In making this forward-looking procurement decision, Hungary’s top political and military officials have demonstrated leadership in moving Hungary at the forefront of European army technology and underlining the Hungarian government’s commitment as a reliable partner of its NATO allies, a policy which it is pursuing with systematic energy».

In September 2020 the Hungarian Ministry of Defence has awarded Rheinmetall an order to supply infantry fighting vehicles and related products and services with a total value of more than €2 billion. The holistic delivery package includes ammunition and logistics, as well as nine modern Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles, nine Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridges (AVLB) and 16 trucks. Hungary is the first NATO and EU member nation to receive Rheinmetall’s newly developed Lynx modular medium weight combat system. This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defence market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s innovative new combat vehicle.

The Lynx KF41 for the HDF is delivered in seven variants including standard Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), command post, reconnaissance, joint fire observer, mortar carrier, field ambulance vehicles and driver training vehicles. The contract also includes additional Rheinmetall products and services such as simulators, training and instruction, plus an initial supply of spare parts as well as maintenance support.

The Lynx IFV is equipped with a manned 30-mm Lance turret, as well as the integrated active protection system StrikeShield, both likewise developed by Rheinmetall.

A first batch of 46 Lynx vehicles will be delivered from Rheinmetall’s plants in Germany. By end of next year, Rheinmetall will start to deliver the remaining vehicles from their Hungarian plant. To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to establish a joint venture responsible for creating a Lynx production facility in Hungary. The state-of-the-art production facility for the innovative combat vehicle is currently being built in Zalaegerszeg as part of the ZALAZone industry complex.

The modern facility not only contributes to the preservation and further expansion of Hungarian capabilities in the development and production of modern combat vehicles, but also strengthens the local economy. The new Hungarian Rheinmetall colleagues are already working on the new Lynx vehicles in Germany, gaining valuable knowledge and skills that will support the transfer of know-how and technology.

 

Lynx – modular, flexible, future-proof

The Lynx concept embraces a complete vehicle family, consisting of a chassis module and flexible mission kits in numerous variants. This means that the basic vehicle can be configured as an infantry fighting vehicle, an air defence system, a command vehicle or field ambulance. Moreover, switching from one configuration to another can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Thanks to the uniformity of the basic vehicle, the system will result in substantially lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously letting military users adapt to changing tactical requirements and/or leverage new capabilities. Outstanding survivability, mobility and lethality characterize the Lynx, as do excellent growth potential, including in terms of its total weight.

The Lance turret operates enhanced sensor systems to fully exploit the capabilities of the integrated 30-mm firing next generation programmable Kinetic Energy Time Fused (KETF) ammunition and the modern Spike 2 LR anti-tank missile system. It provides a comprehensive engagement capability for symmetric and asymmetric threats.

Lynx and Lance are fully digitised built on the NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) enabling integration of the crew, the dismounts, and the vehicle into the wider battlefield network. Enhanced situational awareness enable rapid target detection or target handoff. Furthermore, it supports the integration of multi-spectral sensing capability including UAVs and loitering munitions for beyond line of sight target detection and engagement.

The Lynx combines the modularity of passive and active protection systems providing layered protection capability against the prevalent battlefield threats. Lynx shields its occupants from the full spectrum of battlefield threats, including explosions, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and antitank guided missiles, as well as CBRN. With its hard-hitting combat effectiveness and excellent off-road mobility, the Lynx will give tomorrow’s armed forces a decisive edge in complex military operations at every level of intensity in all kinds of environments, overcoming multiple threats and securing favourable outcomes.

Its spacious interior is unsurpassed by any vehicle in its class, assuring the operational effectiveness of its three crew members and up to eight infantry dismounts.

The digitalisation, as well as the modern physical design of the Lynx ensure maximum performance against the threats of today and growth capabilities against the threats of tomorrow. The modular architecture offers growth capacities for payload, electrical power and processing capacities of the vehicle to enable seamless integration of enhanced mission equipment or realisation of special to role variants within a single vehicle family.

Skyguard 3

Rheinmetall has been awarded by an international customer to supply air defence systems. The deliveries, which also include ammunition and spare parts, are scheduled to be completed in 2024. The total value of the order is around €65 million.

Oerlikon Skyguard 3
Rheinmetall to supply Skyguard 3 air defence systems – contract worth around €65 million

The systems ordered are Oerlikon Skyguard 3 with GDF-009 twin guns and airburst-capable Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) ammunition, also produced by Rheinmetall.

The order is of great importance to Rheinmetall. Not only does it strengthen existing customer relations, but it also underscores the high degree of confidence in Rheinmetall’s world-leading expertise in the field of ground-based air defence.

Rheinmetall is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of advanced air defence systems. In automatic cannon-based air defence, the company is the market leader and the only comprehensive systems supplier for fire control technology, automatic cannons, integrated guided missile launchers and Ahead airburst ammunition. Air surveillance systems and radar technology, powerful sensor technology and high-energy laser effectors round off the portfolio.

Fire support vehicle

Rheinmetall has just unveiled the latest addition to the company’s Lynx next-generation combat vehicle family. The Düsseldorf-based technology group has now developed a mechanized fire support variant of the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Called the Lynx 120, this unique platform merges a tried-and-tested turret concept and the proven 120-mm smoothbore cannon with the Lynx KF 41 chassis. The new mechanized fire support variant of the Lynx offers the user outstanding fire support and anti-tank capabilities.

Lynx 120
Rheinmetall presents the Lynx 120 mechanized fire support vehicle

Thanks to a well-balanced blend of lethality, protection, mobility and survivability, the Lynx 120 is the perfect additional battlefield asset for Lynx platform users. Featuring off-the-shelf components, meticulous engineering reduces the vehicle’s weight, while customizable protection packages round out the package. The vehicle architecture has been simplified and provides an open ‘plug-and-play’ capability for future upgrades, while complying with, and adapting to, NATO standards.

Because armed forces have to cope with future challenges such as high-tech combat systems at a time when conventional solutions and concepts have reached the limits of their performance, the Lynx 120 is designed to deliver maximum lethality and firepower on tracks paired with the latest defence technologies to keep adversaries at bay.

Utilizing the Lynx KF 41 modular chassis and a scalable large-calibre turret concept, the Lynx 120 is a high-performance solution, harbouring vast growth potential and an assured overmatch capability. Just a couple of weeks ago, Rheinmetall Defence Australia unveiled a Combat Support Vehicle (CSV) variant of the Lynx: now there is the fire support version as well.

The basic idea behind the Lynx 120 design concept is to provide a combat system that offers maximum operational performance in combination with logistic advantages within a reasonable timeframe at a realistic cost.

The vehicle’s main armament is a Rheinmetall 120-mm smoothbore gun, derived from the main armament of the Leopard 2. It can fire state-of-the-art DM11 programmable High-Explosive (HE) projectiles. Its secondary armament includes a coaxial machine gun. Moreover, the commander’s independent weapon station will feature an additional .50/cal./12.7-mm machine gun.

A 360° camera system with automatic target detection and tracking reduces the crew’s workload in all operational scenarios.

Special protection modules enable a mission-specific response to ballistic threats, improvised explosive devices, explosively formed penetrators and artillery fire, and can be quickly mounted with limited tools. Moreover, the Lynx 120 can be readily equipped with the proven, already fielded Rheinmetall Active Defence System, or ADS, to defeat rocket-propelled grenades and antitank missiles. Additional armour packages and active protection systems can be provided on request.

Various nations are interested in acquiring the Lynx as a next-generation replacement for their aging inventories. The platform is currently a strong contender in Australian and Slovak IFV modernization plans and is competing for the USA’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme. Hungary became the launch customer in 2021. Going beyond strictly military aspects such as increased interoperability and capability upgrades, major localization elements form an integral part of these procurement plans, aimed at boosting local industry and creating jobs.

Best and Final Offer

Rheinmetall, the largest supplier of military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force has submitted the company’s Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) best and final offer for the Australian Department of Defence Land 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capability tender. Rheinmetall is one of two competing companies involved in the tender for this procurement project.

Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Rheinmetall submits Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle Best and Final Offer for Land 400 Phase 3 in Australia showcasing Leading Capability and Sovereign Military Industrial Growth

Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director, Gary Stewart said the Lynx is a next generation tracked, digitised and highly protected Infantry Fighting Vehicle and offers a step-change in Army’s capabilities: «Lynx sets the new standard and offers unmatched levels of survivability, mobility, lethality, knowledge and growth. Importantly, Lynx is ready to protect Australians in the field and defeat any adversary. Lynx is fitted with the Rheinmetall Lance turret for precise and lethal effects and offers an integrated battle management system. Designed for close combat operations, the extensive family of Lynx vehicles is modular. Lynx can be easily configured and reconfigured, to all 10 roles required by the Army».

Rheinmetall has developed the Lynx with a growth path to meet continually evolving military needs throughout its anticipated 40-year life.

Submitting the best and final offer represents the final deliverable of the two-year Risk Management Activity (RMA) undertaken by the Department of Defence. Involving 12 months of rigorous testing by Army, Rheinmetall has been impressed with the professional and flexible approach taken by Defence in response to COVID.

«The fact that Army and Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group has completed perhaps the most comprehensive testing in the world of these IFVs is outstanding», said Mr. Stewart. «The testing and associated working group discussions have mitigated a number of risks, confirmed vehicle and company performance, and improved the access for more Australian companies to be involved in this program».

Mr. Stewart said that the company’s offer also included a «special project» that was sure to pique the interest of not only the Australian Defence Force, but international export markets as well.

«Incorporating a great deal of engineering design and innovation, I am very much looking forward to unveiling the Rheinmetall special project», he added.

Mr. Stewart said that Rheinmetall’s demonstrated commitment to Australian Industry Capability (AIC) through the Land 121 and Land 400 Phase 2 programs will continue to expand for the Lynx program: «The Australian Army will benefit from the Lynx IFV that will be designed, built and supported from Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence, with an expanded Australia-wide military vehicle industry network. In addition to the engineering of the system design Rheinmetall undertook in Australia with our key Australian partners, we are continuing to identify more Australian companies to supply technologies into Lynx, as part of our ongoing ‘design to manufacture in Australia’ activities».

«Today, we have well in excess of 100 small to medium enterprises that are manufacturing parts for Lynx, thereby providing employment and economic growth opportunities across regional and capital cities in Australia», Mr. Stewart added. «Rheinmetall’s bid will see the Lynx sustained and enhanced locally throughout its service life, building on Rheinmetall’s existing employment base which supports hundreds of high-technology design and manufacturing jobs in fields as diverse as electro-optics, weapon systems, vehicle and turret manufacturing, armour systems and simulation. The Lynx’s Lance turret; already in manufacture for the Australian Boxer CRV program and an export customer, provides high degrees of commonality and interoperability for the soldier. Allowing rapid transition across platforms, a common L turret would simplify Army’s training system and reduce in-service support costs, providing the customer with tangible benefits from day one. Manufactured at Rheinmetall’s Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, the company will provide whole of fleet management, training and through-life support of Lynx».

Laser system

Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded a consortium, or ARGE, consisting of MBDA Deutschland GmbH and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH a contract to fabricate, integrate and support testing of a laser weapon demonstrator in the maritime environment. The order value is in the low double-digit million euro range.

Laser system
MBDA and Rheinmetall win contract for high-energy laser system

Work will be shared out on a roughly equal basis. MBDA Deutschland is responsible for tracking, the operator’s console and linking the laser weapon demonstrator to the command-and-control system. Rheinmetall is in charge of the laser weapon station, the beam guiding system, cooling, and integration of the laser weapon system into the project container of the laser source demonstrator.

The demonstrator is to be fabricated, tested and integrated by the end of the 2021. Trials onboard the German Navy frigate F124 Sachsen are to take place in 2022.

As Doris Laarmann, head of laser business development at MBDA Deutschland, notes, «The contract is an important step on the path to an operational high-energy laser system. Our two companies will apply their respective strengths to make this project a success on behalf of the German Navy. Once it’s installed, the demonstrator will also be used to test important aspects such as the interaction and function of the sensor suite, combat management system and effector as well as rules of engagement».

Alexander Graf, head of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition’s laser weapons programme, and Dr Markus Jung, who leads the company’s laser weapon development effort, both agree, adding that «The contract marks a systematic extension of the functional prototype laser weapon successfully tested in recent years, with the experience gained now dovetailing into one of the most ambitious projects in the field of laser weapon development in Europe».

A breakthrough development in the history of defence technology, lasers engage targets at the speed of light, operating with great precision and producing very little collateral damage. A demonstrator system featuring these capabilities will soon be put to the test under highly realistic operating conditions onboard a German frigate.

Mission Master

Rheinmetall’s game-changing Mission Master Autonomous – Unmanned Ground Vehicle (A-UGV) family has just gained a new member: The Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance. Equipped with intelligence-gathering technology and a Rheinmetall Fieldranger Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), the new Armed Reconnaissance module is designed to collect tactical intelligence in the area of operations while providing frontline fire support whenever necessary.

A-UGV Mission Master
Rheinmetall unveils its new Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance system

 

Crewless recon missions maximize troop security

Autonomous robotic vehicles offer countless advantages, including in a reconnaissance context. The Mission Master – Armed Reconnaissance is designed to execute high-risk scouting missions and deliver a real-time common operating picture without putting soldiers in danger. Since an enormous volume of data is gathered during missions of this type, Rheinmetall’s new A-UGV is equipped with resilient, highly reliable systems. Its payload consists of long-range Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) sensors, a surveillance radar, a 360° full ring camera, a laser rangefinder and a laser designator to identify potential threats. To further enhance the line of sight for the sensors while keeping a concealed posture, the reconnaissance payload is installed on a 3.5-metre/11.5-foot expandable mast with a tilting mechanism. This convenient feature allows for increased and safe transportability on any platform, even a CH-53 Sea Stallion or CH-47 Chinook.

The Armed Reconnaissance module also features radio-agnostic architecture, which means it can accommodate any type of radio that customers may need. The bidirectional communication system permits clear exchanges with HQ and other A-UGVs, giving commanders greater situational awareness. When engaging enemy forces, the Rheinmetall Fieldranger Light 7.62-mm RCWS will provide much more firepower than the usual man-carried section weapon. Engagement of targets is remote-controlled, never autonomous.

 

Safe operation at all times

As with the other modules of the Mission Master family, the Armed Reconnaissance owes its autonomous functions to the Rheinmetall PATH autonomous kit (A-kit). Proven, agnostic, trusted and highly autonomous, PATH is designed to enable military vehicles to operate in unmanned mode, freeing up soldiers for other duties and keeping them out of immediate danger. The A-kit provides a wide range of teleoperation options for the Mission Master, including a tablet, smartwatch, soldier system, and single-hand controller. These devices enable full access to advanced PATH features such as follow-me, convoy and autonomous navigation modes. Each control mode incorporates multiple layers of protection to ensure that the vehicle operates safely at all times. Moreover, Rheinmetall is committed to keeping a man in the loop in all kinetic operations, assuring that a human decides when to open fire, never a machine.

 

A comprehensive Mission Master family

The new Armed Reconnaissance module is the latest addition to the modular Mission Master family, widely acclaimed for its all-terrain manoeuvrability and ability to keep troops safe when deployed in harm’s way. The Cargo module can carry over half a ton of supplies, relieving the burden on troops keeping them fresh. The Fire Support modules boost the combat power of dismounted units, while the Rescue module autonomously evacuates casualties and carries specialized equipment for medical interventions in the field. In addition, every single module is equipped with a Blue Force tracking system that is fully compatible with NATO standards.

Like all members of the Mission Master family, the Armed Reconnaissance version is already networked to the Argus soldier system and Rheinmetall Command and Control Software, which can be installed in any user’s battle management system.

 

Power of the Wolf Pack

The addition of the Armed Reconnaissance to the Mission Master suite turns Rheinmetall’s groundbreaking Wolf Pack concept into a reality. The Wolf Pack consists of multiple Mission Master vehicles efficiently operating as a team in order to accomplish missions of all types, including zone surveillance, reconnaissance, target position transfer and slew-to-cue. All units communicate with each other and use artificial intelligence to maintain the total situational awareness necessary for carrying out their missions.

A genuine force multiplier, the entire Wolf Pack can be managed by a single operator from anywhere using the LTE network, SATCOM, or military cloud. It is an intuitive concept that enables one operator – rather than multiple uncoordinated operators – to focus on the overall mission rather than managing all the tasks of each A-UGV. As Rheinmetall continues to develop new modules for the Mission Master family, the Wolf Pack’s range of capabilities will only increase, significantly improving the military’s ability to achieve overmatch against increasingly capable enemies.

The Armed Reconnaissance module is the newest addition to Rheinmetall’s lineup of Mission Master Autonomous – Unmanned Ground Vehicles (A-UGVs)

Future-proof vehicles

NATO member Hungary orders 218 Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) from Rheinmetall worth more than €2 billion.

Lynx – modular, flexible, future-proof

Hungary is the first NATO and EU member nation to order Rheinmetall’s newly developed Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defence market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s innovative new combat vehicle.

The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has awarded Rheinmetall an order to supply tracked armoured vehicles and related products and services with a total value of more than €2 billion. The contractual agreement, which has now been 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 a manned 30-mm Lance turret, likewise developed by Rheinmetall.

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 a first phase of production, Hungary is to receive forty-six Lynx infantry fighting vehicles as well as nine Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles, all built in Germany; delivery is to be complete by the start of 2023.

In the second production phase, an additional 172 Lynx vehicles built in Hungary will meet in full the needs of the country’s armed forces.

To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to establish a joint venture responsible for creating a Lynx production facility in Hungary, to be financed by a local company.

As Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, explains: «The Lynx’s market breakthrough is a major success for us. And 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».

«We greatly appreciate the Hungarian government’s trust in us which this order implies», declares Armin Papperger. «Rheinmetall is very proud to be able to make an important contribution to the sustained expansion of Hungary’s defence technology capabilities in cooperation with local industry. We look forward to working together with our Hungarian friends and partners, and will do everything in our power to assure the long-term success of this venture».

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. This constellation, which involves a local production partner in Hungary, will ensure that a substantial share of the added value deriving from the procurement project takes place in the customer country.

For Hungary, this procurement order 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. It is foreseen that a 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 – 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. This means that the basic vehicle can be configured as an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier, a command vehicle or field ambulance. Moreover, switching from one configuration to another can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Thanks to the uniformity of the basic vehicle, the system will result in substantially lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously letting military users adapt to changing tactical requirements and/or leverage new capabilities. Outstanding survivability, mobility and lethality characterize the Lynx, as do excellent growth potential, including in terms of its total weight.

Its spacious interior is unsurpassed by any vehicle in its class, 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 antitank guided missiles. With its hard-hitting combat effectiveness and excellent off-road mobility, the Lynx will give tomorrow’s armed forces a decisive edge in complex military operations at every level of intensity in all kinds of environments, overcoming multiple threats and securing favourable outcomes.

Rheinmetall Lynx KF41 at IDET 2019

Ground Combat System

With the contract on a system architecture definition study concluded between industry and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw – Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr), the future German-French Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) has reached its next milestone.

A graphic illustrating the French vision of the Main Ground Combat System, notably comprising a tank armed with a 140-mm main gun. The two-year system architecture definition study is intended to reconcile French and German visions (Twitter image)

Things are now progressing fast with the Main Ground Combat System. After the Framework and Implementing Agreements have been signed by the Defence Ministers of Germany and France, the focus will now be on the contract with the ARGE consortium of industrial partners consisting of Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann (KMW), and Nexter. This launches the system architecture study for MGCS Main Ground Combat System. Nationally selected concepts are being harmonized to develop a common multi-platform system architecture. The first part of the study is to be completed within 20 months. The contract is concluded between the participating ARGE companies and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw – Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) representing both Germany and France.

The contract is equally co-funded by Germany and France. Likewise, the German and French companies will implement equal division of work.

 

Mail-based signature

Given the significance of the joint project, a festive signature ceremony would have been most appropriate. However, neither the Framework and Implementing Agreement nor this contract can be signed in person due to the coronavirus situation. Even such a landmark project must now be signed via mail. The industrial companies of Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann and Nexter were the first ones to sign. After that, BAAINBw received the documents for signature. In accordance with the agreement between the two partner nations, only Germany/BAAINBw was to sign as the lead nation of the bilateral project.

 

Replacement for the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc main battle tanks

The Main Ground Combat System project to be implemented under German lead will replace the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc main battle tanks from the mid-2030s. With this project, Germany and France are sending a strong signal of European defence cooperation.

Records for
indirect fire

At a test fire event on 6 November at the Alkantpan Test Range in South Africa, Rheinmetall demonstrated its extensive expertise in the world of indirect fire. In the presence of international partners and customers, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based defence contractor proved how new technologies can be used to boost the performance of systems that are already in extensive use around the world – those which meet the NATO standards set out in the Joint Ballistics Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU) as well as non-JBMoU systems. During the event, three new maximum effective range records were set using various guns. A G6 howitzer with a 52-calibre gun achieved the longest range ever attained with a conventional 155-mm artillery round: 76 kilometres/47.2 miles, while the 52-calibre gun of PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer lobbed a shell 67 kilometres/41.6 miles. Finally, a field howitzer with a 39-calibre gun attained a range of 54 kilometres/33.5 miles.

Rheinmetall sets three new distance records for indirect fire in South Africa

Rheinmetall Waffe and Munition, Rheinmetall’s centre of excellence for cannon technology, showcased the self-propelled howitzer PzH 2000’s main armament in action. Over the past decade, this 155-mm weapons system has proven to be one of the world’s most effective conventional artillery systems, capable of attaining the high rates of fire specified in the JBMoU. Developed and manufactured by Denel Land Systems, the G6 used at the live fire event was a new version designed to attain greater ranges in line with non-JBMoU standards.

Using the celebrated Assegai Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (V-LAP) shell is an example, modular upgrades of the artillery ammunition were on show at the event. The delegations could see for themselves the marked improvement in its performance with respect both to propulsion and range when fired from 39- and 52-calibre guns. Coupled with technologies from Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and Nitrochemie, Rheinmetall Denel Munition artillery shells exceed previous maximum effective ranges when fired from any conventional 155-mm artillery system currently in use.

The maximum range of over 76 km/47.2 miles was achieved with a non-JBMoU-compliant gun. This gun served as evidence of the feasibility of a new howitzer with a range of 83 km/51.6 miles. Working in close cooperation with the German procurement authorities, Rheinmetall plans to develop and manufacture a new 155-mm gun of this type, which will feature a significantly larger chamber and a longer, 60-calibre barrel. The gun should be able to fire existing JBMoU-compliant rounds as well as new ammunition families. On the one hand, these new ammunition types will be optimized with respect to stresses occurring in the new gun, but will also be able to be fired from legacy JBMoU-compliant guns. Here, 83 kilometres/51.6 miles serves as the benchmark, since the course correction fuse necessary for precision at these ranges reduces the attainable range by approximately ten percent. This means that the maximum effective range of 75 kilometres/46.6 miles specified by the German procurement authorities is attainable.

Rheinmetall Norway’s 120-mm Ragnarok motor system and ammunition from RDM round out the Group’s indirect fire profile. This combination lends itself especially well to multipurpose vehicle applications with a rapid-fire capability. It also enables friendly forces to quickly evade counterbattery fire.

The event’s host, the German-South African joint venture Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), welcomed participants from several NATO nations to the event in Northern Cape province on 6 November. As RDM managing director Jan-Patrick Helmsen explains, «Our goal is to be a true partner to the military. That’s why transparent cooperation and trust are so important to us. Tube artillery can provide defensive and offensive fire support. It’s cheaper and faster than rockets or air support, can operate around the clock, and engage targets with great precision using indirect fire anywhere within its range. Of course, range has proved to be a limiting factor in recent years, giving rise to the need for increased operational reach». During the event, Jan-Patrick Helmsen noted that RDM has already been working to extend the range of artillery shells for some time now. «We’re known for the Assegai family and our V-LAP round, the longest-range conventional artillery projectile. The combination of South African technology and German expertise has already resulted in enhanced range, effectiveness and precision. When it comes to artillery, Rheinmetall takes a totally holistic approach», declares Helmsen.