Belgian Defence yesterday (7 August) launched the procedure to replace the 437 Lynx Light Multirole Vehicles acquired from Italy’s Iveco in 2007, de facto and in under two months completing the modernisation of almost all its fleet of military vehicles.
This new project involves the purchase of “approximately” 440 identical command and liaison vehicles (CLVs) with a maintenance contract. The selection process is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 for initial deliveries expected between 2021 and 2026.
If the “Request For Information” (RFI) provided by the Defence Ministry avoids any mention of cost, the Strategic Vision of Defence Minister Steven Vandeput provides for a budget of €125.05M for the Lynxs operated by the Land component and €16.24m for vehicles in service within the Air/Medical components.
Indeed, the future vehicle will not only be used by ground troops, such as the ISTAR battalion specialised in intelligence gathering, but also by some units of the Air and Medical components.
Unlike the Lynx, which was only delivered with 120 additional kits of armour, the future CLVs will be directly equipped with NATO level 2a/2b protection. Some 80 vehicles will also be armed with a remotely operated turret armed with a 7.62mm machine gun taken directly from Belgian stocks. The communication and battlefield management systems will also come from the Belgian inventory. In addition, the future CLVs will have to be air-transportable by C-130 or by Belgium’s future A400M.
With the publication of this RFI, Belgian Defence has put down the final piece essential to the foundation of its future combined arms powered capacity. Finally, only the transport and engineering capacities remain for the programme to be completed … only a year after Vandeput’s Strategic Vision was launched.