I was going over the Australian Land 400 Phase 2 lineup and we have an impressive number of vehicles all competing for the win. If this doesn't turn into a price shootout (if it does then all bets are off....I would imagine the Boxer would move into poll position because the German govt would essentially subsidize production just to keep its workers working!) then I rank them in this order.
4. LAV 6.0
This vehicle is a weird combination of old and new. Its LAV III heritage is clearly seen in the vehicle design, but it also takes design cues from the LAV Technology Demonstrator that they rolled out a couple of years ago. Don't get me wrong. I believe this vehicle is a solid performer but its competition is stiff. I'm thinking it comes in 4th. Considering the field its nothing to be ashamed of.
Wow. The Boxer. Everyone screams about it modularity. About its protection...and they once screamed about its weight. When the Boxer was first introduced it was an outlier. The heaviest wheeled IFV by far and no one even coming close. Personally I have yet to see a case for real life use of the vaunted modularity that the vehicle brings and I question its mobility in comparison to the competition. The most exciting thing I see from the Boxer is Lancer turret. When introduced it was a world beater. Today? Everyone has caught up. Boxer is a legend but in this competition I see it placing a solid 3. Side note. Maybe its just not talked about in US armored circles but this monster was used in Afghanistan and I haven't heard much about how it performed.
1. Patria AMV (tied)
Everyone knows about the AMV. Its a stud of a vehicle, got raving reviews in Afghanistan and is the wheeled equivalent of the Leopard MBT in Europe. The Patria AMV might as well be the European standard (no offense to the Boxer or VBCI or Piranha III/V/6.0). No one has told me (Patria refuses to talk about it) but the falling out they had with Lockheed Martin still intrigues me. BAE partnered with them for this contest and its sporting the CV90 turret. Mobility is good, armored protection is good, combat performance is sterling...it deserves its 1st place ranking in my opinion.
1. Terrex 3 (tied)
This vehicle surprised me. When the SAIC/ST Kinetics first rolled out the Terrex 2 for the ACV contest I was underwhelmed. MAYBE it would hold its own if the Marine Corps placed a premium on networked warfare...but against the competition...especially when it came to the swim contest (in my opinion) would see it crushed. Little did I know that they would build a NEW vehicle...one that could swim from ship to shore but also have the mobility and armored protection that was being demanded. For this contest swim isn't required but the base vehicle is formidable and Team Sentinel member Elbit did some solid work on the turret and its the new "cat's meow".
If you haven't been keeping up with the Aussies then shame on you. This is an impressive lineup of vehicles and any one of them would fill the CRV role nicely. The old LAV-25 is getting a worthy replacement no matter which way they go.
Time to do some research and see if Land 400 Phase 3 is still on. If it is then we're about to get an "armor bonanza" from down under!