The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 28 July that it had narrowed down to two the list of contenders considered to supply the Australian Army with 225 new wheeled Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs).
Kim Gillis, the Australian deputy secretary of the DoD’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), published a statement saying that the BAE Systems AMV-35 and Rheinmetall’s Boxer armoured vehicles were selected as potential successors to the General Dynamics’ Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) eight-wheel drive vehicles currently in service. The two vehicles shortlisted for the CRV requirement are also eight wheel drive vehicles but offer better protection and mobility over the Australian Army’s current ASLAVs.
The acquisition is part of the larger Land-400 programme designed to replace Australia’s entire infantry fighting vehicle fleet. The Australian requirement for Phase 2 of the Land-400 requirement which covers the Australian Army’s Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme is for 225 vehicles, in seven variants.
Rheinmetall’s Boxer and BAE Systems’s AMV-35 were selected from a list of contenders which included General Dynamics Light Assault Vehicle (LAV-6) and Singapore Technologies (ST) and Elbit Systems’ Sentinel II, based on the ST’s Terrex 3. In the early stage of the selection, the French manufacturer Nexter was also one of the contenders, with an upgraded version of its VBCI eight wheel drive vehicle, but withdrew from the competition following the Australian decision to limit their selection to operationally proven systems.