Rheinmetall Unveils the Lynx KF41 Next-Generation Combat Vehicle


At Eurosatory 2018 Rheinmetall presented its new Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to the international public for the first time. Highly survivable, adaptable to diverse environments, extremely agile, hard hitting, and with huge payload reserves, the Lynx KF41 is a next-generation combat vehicle designed to confront the challenges of the future battlefield like no other.

Most experts agree that land forces will face unprecedented threats on the future battlefield, where emergent technologies have substantially changed the balance of power. Key technologies influencing armored fighting vehicle (AFV) design for the future include anti- access/area denial systems that reduce the ability to gain and retain air dominance, electronic warfare systems that will deny reliable communications, enhanced artillery systems that restrict freedom of action, and advanced AFV designs that are difficult to defeat with existing systems.

In concert with the technology challenges of future combat, land forces need to be relevant across the full spectrum of conflict, including contributing to peace keeping operations, conducting counter-insurgency campaigns, and engaging in general war-fighting against constantly evolving threats in diverse global environments.
It is with these challenges in mind that Rheinmetall has developed the Lynx KF41 family of vehicles and the companion Lance 2.0 turret, resulting in a revolutionary IFV with a level of adaptability, survivability and capacity not seen before in an IFV family.
Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division said, “With the Lynx KF41, the Rheinmetall team has developed a truly innovative next-generation combat vehicle. The breadth of capabilities that a Lynx IFV provides soldiers results in a veritable Swiss Army knife that has unprecedented utility across the full spectrum of conflict. Its modular, adaptable survivability systems allow the vehicle to evolve through life, the high level of mobility will provide battlefield commanders great tactical flexibility in combat, and the diverse effects that the Lance 2.0 turret can generate allow the crew to deal effectively with a wide variety of battlefield situations”.

Adaptable. The Lynx KF41 is a complete family of vehicles that utilises a common drive module and a flexible mission kit arrangement to allow any base vehicle to be configured as an IFV, an armoured personnel carrier, a command vehicle, a recovery vehicle or an ambulance. Changing from one configuration to another can occur within eight hours. This system provides significant total lifecycle cost savings due to base vehicle commonality, allowing customers to adjust force structures or develop new capabilities in an affordable and timely manner.

Enhancing the vehicle’s flexibility, the sub-systems of the Lynx KF41 are highly modular and adaptable. The Lynx KF41 features a digital backbone with a generic open architecture that allows easy integration of new mission systems, while the entire survivability system is modular and upgradable to allow the vehicle to cope with the highly adaptive threats faced on the battlefield. Different survivability kits are available for peacekeeping situations, counter-insurgency operations in urban terrain, and mounted combat against a peer.

No other vehicle can adapt to diverse environments across the full spectrum of operational challenges like the Lynx KF41 can.
Highly Mobile. The Lynx KF41 features the latest generation of propulsion technology with an 850 kW (1140hp) Liebherr engine and a proven Renk transmission. A flexible suspension system has been developed by Supashock, an Australian company, meaning the Lynx can be configured to carry various mission kits and survivability packages without compromising mobility. When configured for mounted combat operations with the Lance 2.0 turret and a survivability package suitable for peer-on-peer combat, the Lynx KF41 weighs approximately 44 tonnes. In this configuration it provides class leading mobility due the high power-to- weight ratio of 26 hp/t, while still leaving up to six tonnes of reserve payload for future growth.
Survivable. The modular survivability systems of the Lynx provide unprecedented flexibility for customers to cope with the wide variety of threats faced across the spectrum of conflict.

The ballistic and mine protection packages can be easily exchanged, even in the field if needed, while the full spectrum of threats have been taken into account, including roof protection against cluster munitions. The Lynx KF41 with Lance 2.0 has been designed not only for passive and reactive systems, but also for an active protection system to defeat rocket-propelled grenades and antitank guided missiles.

Hard hitting. The Lance 2.0 turret is the next generation of the in-service Lance family and has been developed to improve its suitability for an IFV. Lance 2.0 has various enhancements that provide a troop of Lynx KF41 vehicles with a very high level of organic capability, thus allowing the troop to have a disproportionate effect on the battlefield.

The Lance 2.0 features enhanced protection for critical subsystems against kinetic and fragmentation threats, improving system survivability during close combat. The next enhancement is the integration of the new Wotan 35 electrically driven cannon that fires Rheinmetall’s proven and in-service 35x228mm ammunition family. Lastly, the Lance 2.0 has two flexible mission pods fitted to the left and right of the turret that allow installation of a variety of sub-systems to give the turret a specialist capability. Examples of customer- selectable mission pods include dual Rafael Spike LR2 ATGMs, non-line of sight strike loitering munitions, UAVs or an electronic warfare package.

The Lynx KF41 and Lance 2.0 once again show Rheinmetall’s capabilities as a world- leading company in the fields of security and mobility.


11 Responses to “Rheinmetall Unveils the Lynx KF41 Next-Generation Combat Vehicle”

  1. jellydonut says:

    It only took the Germans 25 years but they finally managed to make their own version of the CV90.

  2. Lcon says:

    CV90 is lighter, Smaller in all dimensions until the MkIV then both versions of the Lynx the KF31 and Larger KF41. Also Lynx is more modular. at the Show the First day they showed an IFV with a 35mm cannon the second day they showed a Command version. The Same Vehicle hull was reconfigured.

  3. Ex11A says:

    So how many Infantrymen can this IFV carry? Also, it looks about the height the Bradley should have been.

  4. Kirk says:

    I’m still really dubious of the idea of sticking your dismounted infantry into a vehicle that’s armed for vehicle-to-vehicle combat… You don’t want to dismount where the guns and other systems can do the most good, and you don’t want to take your firepower and STANO systems up to where the grunts need to be dropped, ‘cos that’s putting them out there to get shot up, soooo… What’s the ‘effing point of an IFV, again?

    That turret ought to be on a more heavily armed dedicated platform, and the troops ought to be in a dedicated transporter that the commander’s ain’t gonna want to go off playing Erwin Rommel redux with. You want to protect the infantry, put ’em in a reasonably well-armored box, drive them to where they need to go under the protective firepower of specialized vehicles that can actually survive in direct vehicular combat, and call it good. This half-ass Swiss Army knife approach to mechanized combat still doesn’t make any damn sense to me–Multitools are what you carry for situations where you have to make do with the unexpected. You don’t see an electrician trying to install switches and outlets with a Leatherman, so why the hell are we trying to do infantry firepower support and transportation with the same damn vehicles, at the same damn time? The two roles rarely need to be in the same place at the same time on the battlefield, and it makes no damn sense to haul around a bunch of extra casualties when you try to take on enemy light armor with the guns you shoehorned into the vehicle that can’t carry enough dismounts, anyway…

    • Will Rodriguez says:

      “You don’t see an electrician trying to install switches and outlets with a Leatherman, so why the hell are we trying to do infantry firepower support and transportation with the same damn vehicles, at the same damn time? The two roles rarely need to be in the same place at the same time on the battlefield,”

      The electrician can afford to carry a suite of tools to do it all but if he was limited to one, he’d be carrying a multitool.

      Support and transporation rarely need to be together? On what experience do you base this? As an infantryman I always want my own dedicated support. You can’t always count on a tank platoon being attached. BTW we teach to dismount troops in covered and concealed positions vs. under direct fire (or at least we used to).

      Keep in mind IFV’s aren’t primarily designed to fight vehicles. They might look like mini tanks but they aren’t. They are designed to support the infantry. Dual munition capable guns provide a light anti-armor capability.

      The problem with making IFV tank main gun proof is you make the vehicle as heavy as a tank with all the limitations tanks have on mobility and logistics. The Israelis have the Namer. Luckily they don’t have to worry about deploying or crossing bridges.

      Fitting grunts and turrets in the same vehicle can be a problem if one uses the Bradley approach but tons of room can be saved if you used remote turreted systems. Look at what they did with the Stryker in Germany. There’s a variant that carries a full infantry squad and has a 30mm dual ammo remote turret.

      • Kirk says:

        After spending time as an Observer/Controller at the NTC, what I noticed above all was that the majority of the time, the Bradleys were either doing fire support/suppression missions, or they were dropping troops somewhere they couldn’t really do fire support from. That, plus watching similar operations in Iraq, leads me to the belief that the idea of combining fire support and transportation in the same vehicle is just… Stupid.

        If the IFV is operating as a light armored combat vehicle, then the troops in back are only there to up the casualty count when the vehicle takes a hit. They don’t contribute shit to that aspect of the fight, and because the vehicle has to be big enough to hold them, and light enough, well… That leads to compromises in armor protection and size that lead to decreased survivability.

        Given that the infantry mobility portion of the equation would best be served by speed, stealthiness, and a certain lack of attention from the enemy’s armored combat vehicles, it makes no damn sense to haul them around the battlefield in a vehicle with a huge “Shoot here; high value target” turret on top of a lightly-armored and heavily-laden-with-munitions armored combat vehicle.

        I don’t think that the mistake was to provide mechanized infantry formations with things like the 25mm Bushmaster and under-armor TOW systems; I think the huge mistake we made was in trying to get those assets all under the same roof and on the same set of tracks. The Bradley should have been two separate vehicles; one a medium-weight infantry fire support vehicle, and another strictly armored transport vehicle with, at most, a remote weapons station for providing local security.

        Part of the damn problem is psychological; the Bradley almost encourages the commanders to treat them as though they were tank-equivalents, and they aren’t–Especially when fully laden with dismounts. Add in the downsizing we had to do in order to still fit our dismounts into a four-vehicle platoon, and, well… the insanity becomes manifest.

        I think the old system where we had the M113 and the M114 was a good idea; the M114 just needed a better weapons suite, more armor, and better mechanical reliability. The guys who decided we ought to copy the BMP were guilty of not thinking things all the way through, because I can’t think of a single damn time we’ve fought buttoned-up on a nuclear battlefield that these IFV systems were conceived to fight on. The right mix would probably be something like the Russian BMPT on a full-blown medium tank chassis, and a real dedicated squad-sized transport vehicle that could protect against the majority of the threats, and stay the hell out of the way.

        The Bradley is a system which hasn’t really had a thorough wringing-out in the real world; I suspect that we’re in for some ugly surprises when we do take them up against peer-competitors, just like the rest of the IFV fleets will suffer.

        Stop and think about it; you’ve got a set of precious assets that you’re sticking into one platform that inherently has to have compromises because you’re putting all your eggs in one basket: Why the hell not put the firepower into a more heavily-armored platform, and the dismounts into a platform you won’t by necessity be taking into vehicle-on-vehicle combat? You can’t armor an IFV to even light or medium tank standards because of the size it has to be to fit in the dismounts, so why keep the two together? I’d wager that you could significantly up the survivability of both your firepower and your dismount assets by separating them, which would enable the firepower to go into a lower profile vehicle with better armor, and enable the dismounts to have a vehicle with both a lower profile and target rank. If the enemy has to make a choice, wouldn’t it be better for them to be shooting at something with heavier armor than you can practically put on a troop carrier? Wouldn’t it be a lot smarter to keep your firepower better protected?

        • Macca says:

          Hi Kirk,

          You make some valid points, especially the inherent flaw in having a tank size vehicle, with six to eight extra personnel, with about a quarter the protection of a MBT, and then employ it in the same battlespace.
          In my view however the whole hangup about vehicle weight is what is creating these problems. In the last 30 years average tank weight has gone from around 45-50 tons to 60-65+ tons, in the Challenger 2 Armour Upgrade variants 70 tons. So protestations of ‘-it can’t be heavy/ logistical issues/too expensive’, while expecting the IFV do everything AND keep it’s human cargo safe on the modern battlefield, while wanting it to weigh around 40 tons, are totally unrealistic and really quite weak.

          I submit that a possible option is that we bite the bullet, stop pissing around and build a Infantry Battle Tank (IBT), that combines the weapon systems of tanks AND IFV’s (Large cannon, Autocannon, RWS, 6-8 man section) on one platform, dispense with the irrational prejudice against heavy armour and accept displacement at current MBT weight and up to 80-90 tons.

          Sure, there will be howls of derision and claims of being unrealistic – I don’t expect it will be air transportable by C-130, nor being able to be amphibious or drive over footbridges, but tank displacement HAS increased over the years, and that hasn’t resulted in logistical or infrastructure Armageddon. Also it is all technically feasible – modern construction and mining vehicles (excavators, bulldozers, dumptrucks, etc.) have reached quite large tonnages.

          The problem I forsee will be one of doctrine and ownership – a conflict between Infantry and Armour as to who gets this hypothetical vehicle, and how it would be employed. Of course, a simple solution of what the mission requires would determine method of employment, but being all too familiar with Corp rivalries, the petty arguments would probably delay weapon deployment for years.
          Anyway, my two cents.

          • Kirk says:

            It’s an interesting idea, just going whole-hog and building the vehicle that we really need to get everything, armor/weapon/troops/mobility. But, I fear that the resultant weight and cost would be too big, both in terms of dollars and logistics.

            Which is why I’m more an advocate for medium weight vehicles, and more of them. You could probably build a effectively protected vehicle that could haul around the weapons/ammo load you need, and keep it under 40 tons. It would be lower than a Bradley, and more heavily armored. Likewise, strip the troop carrying mission from the weapon platform, and put them into another 40 ton vehicle that has the lower profile and greater stealth.

            The root problem we’re up against with the IFV is that our materials technology and raw physics both militate against trying to do it all with one platform. You want to do it all, and have decent armor…? The weight is gonna kill you, along with the logistics tail. If you can’t deploy it, or supply it once its deployed, you may as well not buy it. By splitting the load, you could reduce your weights and logistics tail. And, expenses…

            One of the things a lot of folks don’t remember about the Sherman tank is that while the tanks took a lot of casualties, the crews survived more often than not. This points to a truism of armored combat: The uber-tank doesn’t always win. If you could build a lighter, more mobile infantry carrier that enabled more of the dismounts to survive a hit, then you’ve got a workable solution. The current paradigm where you’re wandering the battlefield in a vehicle that’s got all kinds of munitions included in the load…? Yeah; you’re gonna have a lot of guys wind up extra-crispy.

            I’d like to see a vehicle set that looked like a M-8 with modular armor, a weapons load similar to the Russian BMPT package, with the ability to swap out weapons packages for different situations. If you don’t need a damn ADA solution, then leave the ADA package on the boats, and just take the urban warfare module with you. Need more recon/STANO? Same deal; modularity is the wave of the future. Build something like a lightweight Namer on the same basic chassis, and design in the ability to swap out the troop compartment for different modules like a CP or Aid Station/ambulance configuration.

            Frankly, I think we should have done a “containerized” platform deal years ago, standardized on the logistics piece, and let NATO build different national platforms that cater to their egos, while we all capitalize on volume. Not to mention, if your troop compartment were modular, then when we discovered that we really, really needed a damn mine-proof solution, well… Pull the old compartment, slap on a new one with a better V- or W-shaped hull, and away you go with your better adapted vehicle. Not to mention, if the power train and crew compartment were separate items, it’d be a lot easier to update those.

            I’m still a little confused as to why we didn’t do more to take advantage of the old M548 idea; that thing would have been an excellent platform for modularity, especially in terms of logistics vehicles. Were you to say, design a PLS-compatible M548, and build your CPs as compatible containers, then you could have enormous benefits from being able to have the headquarters moved by various assets, vs. having to provide dedicated chassis for everyone. Not to mention, instead of having all those vehicles tied up at the TOC, you could be using them to run logistics missions elsewhere.

  5. RockyMountain9 says:

    After the first paragraph of ultra-capable next-generation hyperbole, I just gave up on reading the press release and scrolled down to the comments section.