Rheinmetall Debuts Lynx 120 Mechanized Fire Support Vehicle

Rheinmetall unveiled on Friday the Lynx 120, a new fire support vehicle variant of the German company’s KF41 Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.

As the name suggests, the Lynx 120’s main armament is a Rheinmetall-made 120mm smoothbore gun, housed in what Rheinmetall describes as a “scalable large-caliber turret”. The gun is based on that used in the Leopard 2, and is compatible with DM11 programmable high explosive shells. Rounding out the Lynx 120’s armament is a coaxial machine gun, as well as a .50 caliber heavy machine gun in the commander’s independent remotely operated weapon station. To detect threats and bring the Lynx 120’s weapons to bear, the vehicle is equipped with a 360-degree camera system with automatic target detection and tracking capability, boosting situational awareness and reducing crew workload.

Like the existing infantry fighting vehicle variant, the Lynx 120 can be outfitted with modular protection modules, allowing for a “mission-specific response” to a variety of threats including kinetic weapons, improvised explosive devices, explosively formed penetrators and artillery fire. Rheinmetall claims that the modules can be quickly installed, with minimal tool use. Additionally, the Lynx 120 can be “readily equipped” with Rheinmetall’s StrikeShield Active Defense System, with the hard-kill active protection system granting additional protection against rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles. According to Rheinmetall, more tailored armor packages and the integration of alternative active protection systems can be done if requested by a client.

A prototype StrikeShield APS installed on a Fuchs reconnaissance vehicle intercepts an RPG during a test (Rheinmetall)

The company adds that the vehicle architecture of the Lynx 120 has been simplified, with an open “plug and play” capability that leaves room for future upgrades while remaining in compliance with NATO standards. All this, the company states, allows for the Lynx 120 to be a “combat system that offers maximum operational performance in combination with logistic advantages within a reasonable timeframe at a realistic cost”.

Rheinmetall is positioning the Lynx 120 as a complement to potential or current users of the KF41 Lynx. Hungary is the first and so far only operator of the Lynx, although Lynx variants are currently competing in the American Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and Australian Land 400 Phase 3 programs among others.