Rheinmetall’s state-of-the-art Lynx infantry fighting vehicle has reached its latest interim objective: promptly at the start on 2023, low-rate initial production (LRIP) began in NATO member nation Hungary, the vehicle’s first customer. Pre-series production is an important milestone, one which also encompasses fabrication of the Lance medium-calibre turret as well as additional variants of the Lynx. Full-rate production, or FRP, is due to commence in July 2023. Recruitment of qualified personnel and the inflow of technical equipment for the Lynx centre of excellence is now in full swing. The Hungarian ministry of defence contracted with Rheinmetall in September 2020 to supply combat vehicles and related services worth over €2 billion.
In the first production phase, Hungary will take delivery of 46 Lynx IFVs and command & control vehicles as well as nine Bergepanzer 3 Büffel armoured recovery vehicles, all made in Germany. In a second phase, a joint venture in Hungary will produce a further 172 Lynx IFVs and combat support vehicles. The first of these vehicles are to be delivered in 2024. In addition to the armoured fighting vehicles, the scope of supply includes ammunition and logistic services as well as 16 trucks. A high-tech factory for this innovative fighting vehicle is now under construction in Zalaegerszeg, where it forms part of the ZALAZone industrial complex. It encompasses modern assembly lines, a paint shop, internal logistic systems and an automated warehouse.
Other facilities include a powerpack testbed, an EMC chamber, a climate chamber, an underground firing range and a test track. This centre of excellence will not only contribute to maintaining and expanding Hungary’s ability to develop and produce modern fighting vehicles. It also strengthens the country’s economy. Rheinmetall’s new Hungarian colleagues are already working on the new Lynx in Germany, gaining valuable knowledge and skills that will facilitate the transfer of know-how and technology. On 15 October 2022, Rheinmetall handed over the first of a total of 209 Lynx vehicles to the Hungarian armed forces. The Lynx will form the backbone of Hungary’s mechanized infantry corps.
The Lynx is a German armoured fighting vehicle developed by Rheinmetall Landsysteme (part of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems division). The Lynx, configured as a KF31 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), was unveiled publicly at the Eurosatory defence exhibition on 14 June 2016. The KF41 variant was unveiled publicly at the Eurosatory defence exhibition on 12 June 2018. According to Rheinmetall, the Lynx family of tracked armoured vehicles is at the forefront of a new trend in IFV design toward armoured vehicles with lower unit and through-life costs and reduced complexity. One of the key principles of the Lynx concept is the integration of proven sub-systems with a high technology readiness level to reduce development time, cost and technical risk.