CANBERRA, (BM) – Australia is in the process of renewing its armaments, and as we wrote earlier this year, the Australian government is ready to invest billions of dollars to carry out its new military plans. This category also includes a new combat vehicle of the Australian infantry and one of the auspices admitted to the tests is the German concert Rheinmetall, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
Lynx KF41 is an armored combat vehicle specially developed for the Australian Land Forces and compliant with the requirements of the Australian Government. According to preliminary information, in the next 12 months the German company will present the full capabilities of the machine through a series of demonstration and combat tests to officials and the Australian military, who are tasked with choosing the future of the Australian infantry. The tests start this month and will continue until October next year.
The Lynx KF41 is just one of three infantry fighting vehicles participating in Australia’s Land 400 Phase 3 program and is worth a total of AUD 18.1 billion [$ 13.1 billion]. If this armored vehicle is chosen by the Australian military, it will support the Australian economy and especially the area around Queensland, where the new Rheinmetal production center in Australia is already operating. This should come as no surprise, given that in recent years such forms of industrial cooperation have driven major arms deals around the world.
The presentation ceremony of the Lynx KF41 was not public and was attended by selected partners. It is clear from the sources of the event that future tests of the combat vehicle will be focused on three main areas: explosion resistance, lethality and mobility.
“Rheinmetall looks forward to demonstrating the capability of this next generation infantry fighting vehicle,” said Rheinmetall Defense Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart. “We believe Lynx is the best vehicle in its class and sets a new standard in protection and the lethality needed to survive and defeat any adversary. Lynx has been developed so it is positioned at an ideal level of maturity when Australia needs it to enter service – and it will have a growth path to extend these capabilities through its 40-year life.”
Lynx is gradually and aggressively breaking into international markets and shaking the market positions of many long-standing and proven players in this field. Hungary has already bought 200 machines from this brand, becoming the first country to place an order with Lynx. But Australia will also benefit from this deal, because, as we have said, the local production of Rheinmetal will take over the production and delivery of a certain volume of battle towers precisely for the Hungarian armored vehicles. There is talk of an order worth about $ 150 million.
The traditions of German society in the land of kangaroos are not recent and have a long history of partnership. We remind you that the Australian Army already operates machines manufactured by Rheinmetal and these are over 200 8×8 Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, which the government approved after a series of tests in the period 2016-2017. But the partnership between the two countries is not limited to purchase -the sale of combat vehicles.
The Australian branch of Rheinmetall is one of the quality and solid units in the international military industrial map of the German company. Here [Australia – ed.] Various solutions in the field of land mechanized defense are designed, developed and implemented, which provides jobs to hundreds of residents. “Design, development and manufacture of the Lynx in Australia for the ADF will build on the advanced manufacturing jobs at our new MILVEHCOE, as well as a strong industrial network of SMEs across Australia,” Mr Stewart said.
Australia is arming itself. What will the ‘kangaroos’ buy with the new defense budget?
According to the recently announced documents regarding changes in the planning of Australia’s defense system since 2020, the country has increased its planned defense spending from approximately USD 135 to USD 187 billion. Additional funds will be allocated in the coming decade for modernization but also for the acquisition of completely new units.
The previous amount was a forecast from the Australian White Paper of 2016. Since then, as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the change on July 1, the world has become “poorer, more dangerous and disordered.” In particular, he pointed to the People’s Republic of China, which has now led to irritations with almost all of its neighbors. Against this background, the relationship of this country with more distant Australia does not look better, especially since Canberra is now very assertively criticizing the PRC, growing almost to enemy number 1.
Increased expenses are to serve to increase Australia’s presence in the region at risk of potential conflict, as well as to improve its partnership with the countries lying there. For this purpose, two additional multi-purpose supply ships are to be purchased, “up to eight” anti-mine and hydrographic units based on Arafura patrol ships, the planned number of which has been increased from three to four. In addition, six Cape patrol boats are to be purchased. New landing vehicles are also to be purchased.
Development plans also include increasing the fleet of C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft and Airbus C-30A MRTT air refueling, which are currently in service with 12 and six units respectively. The ability to keep the enemy away from Australia and projecting strength away from the home infrastructure are to be increased. In this context, investments in submarines and advanced impact systems are mentioned.
As for the former, the continuation of the new Attack submarine is announced, which is to be obtained in as many as 12 copies. Six currently serving Collins-type ships are to be maintained, to be modernized. The purchase of nine Hunter frigates is also to be continued. In addition, the new integrated surveillance system is expected to increase the ability to detect underwater threats on approaches to the Australian continent. And the Jindalee radar network (JORN) is also to be developed to include approaches to the east coast of Australia.
The investments are also to include new sea mines, the successor to the large patrol boat of the Australian Coast Guard ADV Ocean Protector and a new vessel to support possible allied operations in the Pacific. This also promises to introduce modernization to both Canberra-type landing helicopters, which can be seen as a desire to adapt them to take on board short-take fighter jets and vertical landing F-35B.
When it comes to advanced striking systems, first of all, the purchase of new long-range aircraft anti-ship missiles AGM-158C LRASM from the US. For now, it has not been said how many copies of this weapon were purchased, but the estimated cost of this purchase is as yet USD 553 million, and therefore it will be a large purchase, especially since this weapon is to replace the fully used currently used AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, increasing the range destruction from 124 to 370 km.
Australian Super Hornets are to start moving LRASMs next year and all 24 machines of this type will be integrated with them. Initial operational readiness is expected to be achieved in 2023. Australian F-35 is also to be integrated with LRASM, the acquisition of which is to be continued until it reaches 72 copies.
Their purchases are to be accompanied by the acquisition of modern weapons with a larger range and greater efficiency. Drone accompanying them, which are now being developed on behalf of Australia together with Boeing under the name Loyal Wingman, are also to be bought. Purchases are also to include reconnaissance and surveillance drone from the MQ-9B Sky Guardian and MQ-4C Triton programs. Purchases of electronic combat aircraft MC-55A Peregrine and marine patrols P-8A Poseidon will be continued. The E-7A Wedgetail and F-18G Growler early warning aircraft will be sought after. It is possible that F-35 will also perform in the latter role.
The investments will also include programs for future weapons: hypersonic missiles, advanced systems systems for aircraft. Australia also wants to increase its self-sufficiency in the conduct of armed conflict. This is to be achieved by further increasing own industrial capabilities, expanded weapon and fuel storage facilities. The improvement of the ability to respond to hybrid threats will in turn cover issues related to cybersecurity (as well as “offensive capabilities” in the field of cyber), development of special forces, strengthening reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities, including those conducted through satellites.
The Australian Land Army is expected to receive active defense systems that will be installed on Hawkei and Bushmaster armored vehicles. Two regiments of self-propelled howitzers will be purchased (previously planned to acquire one), which are to be built in their own industry.
The purchase of self-propelled artillery is significant because today the Australian Army has only towed howitzers M777. The successor to the M1A1 Abrams tanks will also be introduced, but these vehicles will be upgraded sooner. In addition, purchases of Boxer reconnaissance transporters replacing ASLAV and the program of the future BWP will be continued.
Purchases of unmanned ground vehicles and a wide spectrum of anti-tank weapons are planned (talked about directed energy systems and “smart” mines, alongside the already purchased pp. Spike LR2). The striking capabilities of army aviation, reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence, electronic warfare and network-centric command will also be developed. In addition, the support that the armed forces will be able to give to civil authorities in the area of response to crises such as natural disasters or medical care will be strengthened, which in the current situation is quite understandable.
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