PARIS — Rheinmetall took the wraps off it's new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle at the Eurosatory show in Paris on Tuesday, signaling not just the entry of a new contender in world export markets for this type of platform but that Australia was one of the German company's main early sales target.
"As we launched it in Australian camouflage it's a pretty good indication that we are targeting it as one of the key starting markets for the Lynx," said Ben Hudson, the head of Rheinmetall's vehicle systems division.
The company is already expecting to hear in the next few week whether its Boxer 8x8 armored personnel carrier bid has been successful as part of Australia's Land 400 requirement.
Hudson said the vehicle was already generating considerable interest among potential infantry fighting vehicle purchasers other than Australia.
"Several potential customers in Europe are already discussing it with us," he said.
In partnership with Krauss-Maffai Wegmann, the company already produces the Puma infantry fighting vehicle for the German Army but its high-end requirements help make it a costly machine compared to the Lynx, which is planned to be a more affordable and flexible offering for export customers.
The Lynx comes in two tracked variants. The KF31, which was revealed at Eurosatroy on Tuesday, can carry six troops and three crew members, while the KF41 is able to carry eight soldiers and three crew members.
The vehicle revealed Tuesday had a 35mm cannon, but Rheinmetall offers a 30mm weapon as an option. The KF31 also had an anti-tank missile launcher holding two Spike LRs (Long Range).
The KF31 weighs up to 38 tons. KF simply stands for Kettenfahrzeug, or "tracked vehicle," in German.
The platforms can be configured for command-and-control, armored-reconnaissance, repair-and-recovery, and ambulance operations.
"Lynx is an advanced, new modular family of vehicles that offers our customers the highest levels of survivability, mobility, lethality and capacity while utilizing proven technologies to deliver a compelling value proposition for our global customers," Hudson said.
Andrew Chuter is the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News.