The Australian Government has officially unveiled the names of the two infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) contenders for the army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 project.

This phase manages the acquisition of IFVs and manoeuvre-support vehicles. The total acquisition cost of the vehicles is estimated to be worth up to $27bn.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Hanwha Defense Australia have been officially unveiled as contenders.

Under the programme, Rheinmetall Defence Australia will offer its KF-41 Lynx and Hanwha Defense Australia will provide its Redback.

Currently, the IFV prototypes are under evaluation.

Upon completion, the project will deliver the Australian Army with an advanced, ‘mounted close combat capability’.

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The IFVs will replace the current M113 armoured personnel carriers that have been operational since the mid-1960s.

In October 2019, the Australian Department of Defence signed contracts with Hanwha and Rheinmetall for the RMA phase of the LAND 400 Phase 3 programme.

Australian Acting Defence Minister Marise Payne said that the government is acquiring up to 450 IFVs.

Payne said: “These next-generation infantry fighting vehicles will provide Australian soldiers with higher levels of protection, mobility, firepower and connectivity.

“They will give our troops the best possible opportunity to successfully complete their mission safely.

“This project is part of the Morrison government’s unprecedented A$270bn investment in defence capability over the next decade, which will protect our national and strategic interests for years to come.”

A decision on the preferred tenderer for government consideration will be presented next year.

Last November, Rheinmetall revealed the first Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for the Land 400 Phase 3 programme.