Rheinmetall Lynx, the Combat Vehicle of Choice for the Modern Battlefield

First envisioned five years ago and presented to the public three years later at the Eurosatory 2018 event, the Lynx combat vehicle comes in two variants, KF31 and KF41, and it's designed to be a very capable, agile, and mighty war machine for the future battlefields of the world.
Rheinmetall Lynx 8 photos
Photo: Rheinmetall
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The term KF stands for Kettenfahrzeug, which means tracked vehicle in German. The Lynx combat vehicle family aims to be a very versatile concept, developed into two versions. The first one is the "petite" KF31 machine, weighing in at just under 38 tons, with a seating capacity of 3+6 soldiers. The bigger brother is called the KF41, and it is slightly heftier and has a carrying capacity of 3+8 military personnel.

The Lynx line of warfare vehicles is highly customizable, being able to sustain all kinds of roles on the modern battlefields, such as infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), command and control centres, armored reconnaissance machines, repair and recovery units, and can even function as ambulances.

Besides, the simplified logistics offered by many shared parts and components specific to the Lynx range of vehicles make the hurdles of repairing, maintaining, and in-theatre servicing interventions much easier to overcome, so that the military forces always remain protected from any additional jeopardy. In fact, the KF31 and KF41 tracked vehicles are so readily configurable that a complete change from one configuration to another can occur in just 8 hours.

Rheinmetall Lynx
Photo: Rheinmetall

At the core of the KF vehicles one can find an impressive drivetrain made up of an 1,140 hp Liebherr engine and a Renk transmission. Moreover, the suspension system conceived by Supashock is ready to support any mission packages or military equipment without any sacrifices to mobility and maneuverability.

For example, a KF41 equipped with a Lance 2.0 turret and its specific combat kit weighs in at almost 44 tons, but it still has 6 tons of remaining payload to spare for additional equipment and military personnel. The Lance 2.0 turret intends explicitly to function as a passive and reactive protection system and even work as a defense mechanism against rocket-propelled grenades and antitank guided missiles.

Furthermore, the Wotan 35 electrically driven cannon can offer even more firepower, provided it makes use of the Rheinmetall's 35x228mm class ammunition. Not least, the Lance 2.0 comes fitted with two flexible mission pods arranged to the left and right of the turret. They can be configured to any client's desire to support sub-systems such as Rafael Spike LR2 ATGMs, non-line of sight strike munitions, or many more electronic warfare facilities.

Rheinmetall Lynx
Photo: Rheinmetall
In September 2020, the Hungarian Army became the launch customer for the Lynx KF41 combat vehicle, partnering up with Rheinmetall to produce a number of 218 IFVs, specifically designed to Hungarian standards to best suit their needs.

The Australian Army also manifested great interest in the KF41 IFV and maneuver support vehicle variants, and also plans to test out the medical, personal carrier, and mission command configurations.

The Czech Republic has a long history of collaboration with Rheinmetall, which partnered up in the automotive field decades ago. They manifested genuine interest in setting up training facilities, sharing technical expertise, and even create entire military vehicle centers.

For the American market, the KF family of combat vehicles represents a solid contender for the Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. It aims to deliver a fighting machine equipped with the ultimate firepower, protection, and mobility solutions while being capable of being operated manned and, more importantly, in unmanned modes.

Rheinmetall is a company based in Dusseldorf, Germany, doing business in the field of mobility and security, mostly for the automotive and defense industries.

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About the author: Dan Marinescu
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Since his early childhood, Dan developed an avid passion for cars and, now he sees himself as a genuine petrolhead. His enthusiasm comes from his father, an automotive engineer. They love to reminisce about the days when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and why everything does what it does.
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