The Commonwealth has released the tender for the next phases of the Australian Army’s vehicle replacement program, LAND 400 Phase 3 – Mounted Close Combat Capability.
Designed to replace Army’s M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APC), the new vehicle will be significantly more capable in terms of protection, firepower, and its ability to be networked. Army aims to acquire 450 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles.
“This will be the largest investment in Army’s capability ever undertaken and will provide our troops with a modern close combat capability,” outgoing Defence Minister Marise Payne said in an August 24 statement. “The vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection, firepower and mobility that will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.”
Phase 3 is the follow-on to the LAND 400 Phase 2 combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) project which was signed last week with Rheinmetall for 211 Boxer 8×8 vehicles. Phase 3 deliveries are expected to commence in 2024.
Key contenders for Phase 3 are expected to be Rheinmetall with its new Lynx IFV, the Hanwha KF21/AS21 IFV, BAE Systems with its CV90 IFV, and General Dynamics with an IFV variant of its Ajax CRV.
In order to better facilitate the acquisition and service entry of the new armoured vehicles, Defence has created a new Armoured Vehicle Division within CASG to consolidate LAND 400, Project LAND 907 – Main Battle Tank Replacement, and Project LAND 8160 – Enhanced Gap Crossing Capability.
An Industry briefing session is scheduled to be held during the Land Forces Conference in Adelaide on Wednesday 5 September, and details of the briefing and the tender (CASG/LSD/RFT0056/18) can be viewed on the AusTender website.
Max Blenkin takes a closer look at the Lynx IFV and other Phase 3 contenders in the Sept-Oct 2018 issue of ADBR which will be available to delegates at Land Forces.