German armored vehicle specialist Rheinmetall handed over the first Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to the Hungarian armed forces on October 15, just two years after the order was placed.
The handover of the first of a total of 209 vehicles took place during an oath-taking ceremony of new military service volunteers of the Hungarian Defence Forces at the Petöfi Sándor Barracks in Budapest. In addition to Hungarian defense minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, the ceremony was attended by Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán.
Hungary awarded Rheinmetall the €2 billion order for the supply of infantry fighting vehicles and related products in September 2020.
The contract covers ammunition and logistics, as well as nine modern Buffalo armored recovery vehicles, nine armored vehicle launched bridges (AVLB) and 16 trucks.
Hungary is the first NATO and EU member nation to receive Rheinmetall’s newly developed Lynx modular medium weight combat system.
“We are very proud to be able to deliver the first Lynx infantry fighting vehicle to our partner Hungary today,” said Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger.
“This is an important milestone. Lynx is the most versatile fighting vehicle of its class. In making this forward-looking procurement decision, Hungary’s top political and military officials have demonstrated leadership in moving Hungary at the forefront of European army technology and underlining the Hungarian government’s commitment as a reliable partner of its NATO allies, a policy which it is pursuing with systematic energy.”
The Lynx KF41 for the HDF is delivered in seven variants including standard infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), command post, reconnaissance, joint fire observer, mortar carrier, field ambulance vehicles and driver training vehicles. The contract also includes additional Rheinmetall products and services such as simulators, training and instruction, plus an initial supply of spare parts as well as maintenance support.
The Lynx IFV is equipped with a manned 30mm Lance turret, as well as the integrated active protection system StrikeShield, both likewise developed by Rheinmetall.
A first batch of 46 Lynx vehicles will be delivered from Rheinmetall’s plants in Germany. By end of next year, Rheinmetall will start to deliver the remaining vehicles from their Hungarian plant.
To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to establish a joint venture responsible for creating a Lynx production facility in Hungary.
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. Rheinmetall is also offering the IFV for the US Army’s Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program.