America’s Next Generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle Could Be German

White House [Public Domain]

In its bid to replace the venerable but aging M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the U.S. Army is considering an “optionally manned” tracked vehicle produced by a joint venture between German defense contractor Rheinmetall and U.S. defense firm Raytheon. The Bradley, first deployed in the 1980s, has proven an effective troop carrier that could keep pace with the M-1 Abrams tanks in combined operations or operate independently.

It saw action in the 1991 Gulf War, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the fight against ISIS, but the Army hopes to replace the Bradley with a new high-tech vehicle that surpasses it in every way. Enter the futuristic-looking KF41 Lynx.

According to Popular Mechanics (PopMech), while 50 percent heavier and larger “the Lynx is faster, carries more troops, and is more heavily armed than the existing Bradley.” Its higher horsepower to weight ratio makes the Lynx more agile than the Bradley. PopMech further describes the fighting vehicle as:

a tracked vehicle with a crew of three and the ability to carry eight infantrymen and women in the rear. Lynx is armed with a Lancer 2.0 turret incorporating a 35-millimeter autocannon, and the step up in caliber will allow Lynx to engage light armored vehicles and enemy troops at longer ranges at the expense of less onboard ammo.

See video of the Lynx performing near parked Bradleys during recent NATO Brave Warrior exercises in Hungary.

However, Kyle Mikozami notes that:

The KF41 in U.S. Army service would probably look a little different  the vehicle seen in Hungary as the U.S. may want the turret to be equipped with two long range anti-tank missiles, giving OMFV the ability to take on tanks by itself. It may also want an active protection system capable of detecting and shooting down incoming rockets and anti-tank guided missiles.

Most importantly, the U.S. Army wants the Bradley replacement to have the ability to be operated remotely. If selected, the KF41 could replace thousands of Bradley vehicles in U.S. service and serve as the primary U.S. Army infantry fighting vehicle for decades to come.

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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Steve Murtha
Steve Murtha
1 year ago

Why a tracked vehicle instead of one using multi-wheels? Aren’t tracks more vulnerable to loss of mobility?

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