Rheinmetall at IDET 2019 – Lynx IFV and future collaboration

Rheinmetall at IDET 2019 – Lynx IFV and future collaboration
15 / 07 / 2019, 18:15

After NATO Days 2018, this year's IDET 2019, held on 29th – 31stMay in Brno, was the second opportunity for the Czech professional and general public to get acquainted with the LYNX KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). It was brought to Brno and placed in the exposition by the leading German defence and security technology provider, Rheinmetall Defence and its “Tracked Armoured Vehicles & Turrets” business unit Rheinmetall Landsysteme.

Lynx KF41 is being offered to the Czech Army in the ongoing tender, with the purpose to replace the existing outdated BVP-2’s, which haveservedwith the Czech (Czechoslovak) Army since the late 1980’s. Rheinmetall Landsysteme also became member of the Defence and Security Industry Association (DSIA) of the Czech Republic during the IDET fair, and together with hundreds of IDET visitors participating in the charity event, they also supported the Czechoslovak Legionnaries Community with a financial donation.

At their stand in addition to the most distinctive exhibit, the Lynx KF41Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Rheinmetall also had a display case with an overview of the ammunition for theweapons the Lynx can carry, including the 30mm and 35mm round for the main weapon: the automatic cannon mounted in the modern manned Lance Turret. Weapons of both calibreswere also presented at IDET.

On Wednesday 29th May 2019 Rheinmetall Landsysteme became a member of the Defence and Security Industry Association (DSIA). Mr. Oliver Mittelsdorf, Senior Vice President of RheinmetallLandsystem, and Jiří Hynek, DSIA President, signed the membership documentsat the DSIA stand in front of the Security Magazine’s cameras. Mr. Mittelsdorf described this move as an important and logical step following last year's establishment of the company’s branch in Trmice near Ústí nad Labem. This step will facilitate cooperation with the Czech industry and will make Rheinmetall more visible on the Czech market. Mr. Mittelsdorf mentioned explicitly that the tendering for tracked IFV is currently in the centre of the company's attention, but the interest for Rheinmetall in developing projects in the Czech Republic does not stop with this project.

Among the main advantages of the companywhich Oliver Mittelsdorf mentioned, is the experience with the transfer of technologyto the customer country of the project. With its Lynx vehicle Rheimetall takes part in similar tenders in Australia (LAND 400 Phase 3 replacing the M113 personal carriers) and in the United States (NGCV replacing Bradley IFV), and has already succeeded in the previous tender for replacement of wheeled armoured vehicles in Australia (LAND 400 Phase 2). According to Mr. Mittelsdorf the general requirements for new tracked vehicles and related services are to certain degree comparable in all three countries (Czech Republic, Australia, USA), and the specific differences can easily be metwithin the modularity of the Lynx combat vehicle.

And this is the feature the company’s exhibition underlined during the IDET fair. The modular concept of the vehicle allows for easy and quick modification of the vehicle’s variant according to the actual needs, mission and task. Czech Army requires seven such variants (combat, command, reconnaissance, engineer, medevac, artillery reconnaissance and recovery). The modification procedure was demonstrated by Rheinmetall at last year's Eurosatory in Paris, where theversion conversion from aninfantry fighting vehicle into a command vehicle was performed within 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Military expert of the Security Magazine, Jaroslav Macošek, Czech Army Active Reserve Mechanized Infantry squad leader, who has experience with the deployment of the current BVP-2, was allowed by Rheinmetall to inspect the Lynx vehicle from all angles, to test the troop compartment, and to climb on the vehicle. On the turret he discovered an interesting detail: wire cutters which protect the crew and installed equipment from wire traps. As Jaroslav is 202 cm high,and as among the Czech Army’s most important requirements for its new IFV there is the capacity of the vehicle to carry eight troopers in the troop compartment, it was interesting to try how he can fit in the vehicle: very well, with a good head room (space above the helmet), and he was also able to leave the troop compartment swiftly as the rear door is large enough even for troopers of his size.

Visitors could not miss that the vehicle was labeled“Czechmade” by the manufacturer. Made for Czech Republic in Czech Republic.Oliver Mittelsdorf explained that, unlike the Lynx present to the NATO Days last year, the vehicle showed in Brnowas modified according to the requirements of the Czech Army. The adjustments were done in the Czech Republic, and a significant part of them was made by Rheinmetall’s Czech partner companies; the manufacturer says the vehicle has a Czech DNA.

During the IDET fair, Oliver Mittelsdorf and other Rheinmetall representatives repeatedly answered the question howthey perceived the current state of the Czech tracked IFV acquisition tender. According to their self-confident responses, they believe that both the tactical and technical features of the Lynx KF41, and the company as a whole, in terms of the required involvement of the Czech defence industry in the production and servicing of the vehicle, will meetandexceed all the requirements.

On Friday, during the final day of the fair, Rheinmetall had a charity event at their stand. All IDET visitors had the possibility to have their picture taken in front of “Czechmade” Lynx KF41. For each picture taken Rheinmetall made a donation – in addition to this also the public could make their own voluntary donation as well. Later that afternoon the representatives of Rheinmetall handed over a financial donation of 5000 Euros (about CZK 130 thousand) to the Czechoslovak Legionnairies Community, in the presence of Brigadier General ret. Václav Kuchynka, member of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps in the USSR during WW2.

 All in all - after IDET 2019 - Rheinmetall looks with great optimism for the future together with the Czech Industry - for Czech Republic and beyond.

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