Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV)
The German defense group Rheinmetall Defence developed a new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to counter the newest Russian BMP platforms "Armata", "kurganets-25" and "Boomerang". Presentation of the tracked "Lynx" was held at the international exhibition of arms "Eurosatory 2016" (the Eurosatory 2016), held in Paris in June 2016. (KF stands for "Kettenfahrzeug", which means tracked vehicle in German):
Rheinmetall presented its Lynx KF31 infantry fighting vehicle at Eurosatory 2016 for the very first time. Agile, hard-hitting and highly protected, this state-of-the-art tracked armoured vehicle is destined to dominate the modern battlefield, lending itself to operations from peace enforcement to high-intensity combat.
Lynx is an advanced new family of combat vehicles, which has high performance maneuverability, survivability on the battlefield, combat effectiveness. Lynx is designed in two configurations, the project received the designation of KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for ‘Kettenfahrzeug’, or tracked vehicle in German). They differ in size and performance capacity.
- Weighing up to 38 tonnes, Lynx KF31 was on display at Eurosatory and can seat 3+6 soldiers. The KF31 crew of three men (commander, gunner, a driver), it can be transported to the battlefield to six paratroopers located in the rear of the machine. During the "Eurosatory 2016" modification a KF31 was presented.
- Lynx KF41 length is slightly larger, with a combat weight of about 38 tons. It can carry up to eight paratroopers.
Both vehicle classes – Lynx KF31 and Lynx KF41 – can be configured for other roles include a command & control, an armoured reconnaissance, repair & recovery and an ambulance. A high degree of commonality in parts and components is another prominent feature of the Lynx family of vehicles. This simplifies logistic support and has a positive impact on training. Furthermore, customized service support is available worldwide – ranging from training and logistics to in-theatre repairs and technology transfer.
The machine frame is made of welded steel elements and is equipped with an additional module booking with special protection from anti-tank weapons, striking the upper hemisphere of the machine. Double floor enhances mine protection "Lynx". The exact characteristics of the new IFV were not disclosed. It will be able to provide protection to the 5th level, the NATO standard STANAG 4569 (protection against 25mm armor-piercing shells at a distance of 500 m).
Lynx is equipped with advanced combat unit Lance developed by Rheinmetall. It is armed with 35-mm cannon with a double of ammunition, the list of which ammunition enters high-explosive shells with remote detonation. The combat unit is also equipped with a machine gun 7.62 mm and a twin container for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). Specialists of Rheinmetall stressed that the Lance is supposed to integrate the ATGM Spike missile.
Lynx features a Rheinmetall LANCE turret armed with a stabilized, externally powered, airburst-capable automatic cannon (either 30mm or 35mm). This enables Lynx to effectively engage targets with high precision at ranges of up to 3,000 meters – even on the move. Lynx can also be equipped with an antitank guided missile launcher and a secondary weapon station linked to the main optics (main sensor slaved armament). Not only does Lynx have hunter-killer capability, it can operate in killer-killer mode, since the commander and gunner can observe and engage targets independently of each other.
With the diesel engine mounted in the forward section and a modular armor concept, the vehicle architecture offers a high degree of protection. The vehicle’s ballistic armor shields Lynx from antitank weapons, medium-calibre ammunition, artillery shrapnel, IEDs and bomblets. In addition, a spall liner in the vehicle interior protects the entire crew. Mine and IED protection packages, decoupled seats and the optional hard kill Active Defence System (ADS) significantly boost the vehicle’s survivability.
The commander and gunner both have access to the Stabilized Electro Optical Sight System/SEOSS, a digital TV - IR optical system with an integrated laser range finder and fire control computer. In the fighting compartment, displays provide the crew with a seamless 360° panoramic view. Rheinmetall’s Situational Awareness System (SAS), featuring automatic target detection and tracking, enhances the hunter-killer capability and minimizes crew reaction time. Emerging threats can be swiftly engaged with Lynx’s main or secondary armament. Laser warning sensors and the Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS) likewise form part of the sensor suite. A combat management system and intercom for tactical communication round out the array of on-board equipment.
Owing to the manned turret, the commander can still lead from the hatch. The gunner and driver each have hatches, too, while two soldiers in the rear of the fighting compartment can also observe the area around the vehicle from an open hatch. The IFV is equipped with a computerized fire control system (FCS), optronic sighting system with a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging cameras commander and gunner operator, the main armament stabilizer and situational awareness system SAS (Situational Awareness System). Representatives of Rheinmetall stressed that the Lynx will receive an acoustic detection system sniping ASLS (Acoustic Sniper Locating System).
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