Hungary is establishing a joint venture with German defense technology company Rheinmetall for the local production of the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle that will become part of the Hungarian Armed Forces.
The undertaking is part of the country’s drive to modernize the country’s defense industry and military capabilities in line with its NATO commitments.
According to Rheinmetall, the agreement was signed at the company’s Unterlüss site on August 17. Rheinmetall will now work with Hungary on creating a joint venture and production facility in Hungary to manufacture the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.
Hungary is the first NATO and EU member state to choose the Düsseldorf-based group’s new IFV. Australia is currently evaluating the Lynx as part of its LAND 400 Phase 3 program. Lynx comes in two variants, the KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for ‘Kettenfahrzeug’, or tracked vehicle in German). Weighing up to 38 tons, Lynx KF31 can seat 3+6 soldiers, while the slightly larger Lynx KF41 can carry 3+8 soldiers. Both can be further configured for roles that include command & control, armored reconnaissance, repair & recovery or ambulance.
“As part of its commitment to NATO, Hungary is replacing its heavy ground forces equipment. Following the tanks and artillery, it is now the turn of the infantry combat vehicles, which form the backbone of the capabilities set,” László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, and Gáspár Maróth, Commissioner for Defence Development, said.
“As the most advanced system of its kind, the Lynx has demonstrated its suitability for a central role in the army’s capabilities spectrum for decades to come. Partnering with a major European corporation will result in the modernization of our defense industry and thus to the expansion of our industrial portfolio.”
“The Lynx’s market breakthrough is a major success for us. And the fact that we were able to convince Hungary – an important EU and NATO partner – to choose this innovative vehicle makes this success all the greater,” Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, added.
Hungary is currently also in the process of receiving a total of 56 Leopard 2 tanks from German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) that are to be delivered in two variants.