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It is done: Hungary has ordered the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle! Following the announcement on August 17, 2020, the government in Budapest has now ordered 218 Lynx armored personnel carriers, nine armored recovery vehicles 3 Buffalo, simulators, spare parts and training services for over two billion euros. Just five years have passed, in which the idea for a new armored personnel carrier developed into a marketable product through strategies, concepts and development.

With this first order for the Lynx KF41 - a good two years after the first public presentation at Eurosatory 2018 - the armored personnel carrier has achieved the market breakthrough and is about to start series production.

In the contract signed by General Ferenc Korom, the commander of the Hungarian armed forces, and Armin Papperger, the CEO of Rheinmetall AG, in Budapest, the delivery of the tanks and their peripherals is agreed in two phases. In an initial production phase, Hungary is to receive 46 Lynx armored personnel carriers and nine 3 Büffel armored recovery vehicles made in Germany, with delivery to be completed by the beginning of 2023. In a second phase, 172 more Lynx vehicles are to be produced in Hungary to complete the equipment of the country's armed forces.

For the second production phase, a joint venture company is being established in Zalaegerszeg (210 km west of Budapest) under the majority management of Rheinmetall to produce the Lynx vehicles. The Hungarian partner is bringing a new production line to the joint venture as a major investment. The emerging competence center for the development, manufacture and maintenance of armored vehicles will be an important nucleus of the defense technology industry in Hungary. In the joint venture with the local production partner in Hungary, it is ensured at the same time that a significant proportion of the added value from the procurement of the combat vehicles takes place in the customer country.

The Lynx concept comprises a complete vehicle family, consisting of the drive module and the flexible mission equipment in numerous variants. This means that every base vehicle can be configured as an armored personnel carrier, armored personnel carrier, command vehicle or ambulance vehicle. The configuration change is possible within a few hours.

Hungary has ordered the Lynx KF41 in the infantry fighting vehicle version, with a manned Lance 2.0 turret armed with a 30 mm cannon. With its large interior volume, the Lynx offers space for three crew members and an infantry group with seating strength of up to nine soldiers. Inside, the crew is protected from the full spectrum of threats, including explosions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and anti-tank missiles.

Further details on the Lynx KF41 can be found in the brochure "The Lynx Family" just published by Mittler Report Verlag, the herecan be ordered.

With the Zrínyi 2026 program, Hungary initiated the modernization of its armed forces, ultimately also in order to meet the requirements of NATO, of which Hungary has been a member since 1999. For the equipment of the combat troops, the replacement of the Russian defense technology, which originated mainly from the Warsaw Pact times, has been started in several large orders.

With the re-equipment of the combat troops, the Hungarians reached the technical level of the allies in NATO. Cooperation projects with the suppliers strengthen the Hungarian defense industry and should contribute to a sustainable development of the defense capabilities of one of the youngest NATO and EU members.

Gerhard Heiming