The endgame for Land 400 Phase 2 is going to be really interesting. As Australia moves forward with two last century designed vehicles (which is actually what combat proven means) the rest of the world is to continue with the development of new generation armour platforms designed to maximise modern advances in active and passive protection, automated target selection and engagement as well as the integration of autonomous support capabilities. The Russians are well on the way, the Chinese right behind them, with the Israelis well advanced and Europeans and US in catch up mode (although the USMC has a chance to be in the game if the ACV integration is finished right). Around the time Australia will be making decisions to buy and manufacture, the global 8x8 capability game will have changed quite a lot. If there arent any changes to the current choices it will be clear that Australia will likely go into 2030 and beyond with yet another out of date under scoped capability. Wouldn't be the first time.So what's on the horizon for the rest of the world?
Eitan. We've talked about this vehicle to death. I think its setting a new standard in armored vehicle development.
Patria XP. The Patria AMV has garnered a specatular reputation but its getting long in the tooth. The growth potential is limited and the tech has moved on. The Patria XP remedies all that and breaths new life into the design.
Japanese Maneuver Combat Vehicle. Why did I include this? Simple. I believe that it will fill the same role as the Land 400 winner. Everyone looks west when it comes to armored vehicle development but they're doing things in the east that bears watching.
VBCI 2. This vehicle is another drastic update of a war going chariot that earned praise. The VBCI 2 is HIGHLY networked, has a very punchy 40mm cannon and has proven itself to be IED resistant. Its a good ride.
Boomerang. This vehicle caught me by surprise. The Russians have developed a thoroughly modern western style 8x8. Expect this vehicle to show up in the Australian sphere of influence sooner rather than later.
Norinco something...This vehicle is a mystery to me. I have no knowledge of it except that it mounts a big gun. What I do know is that they have a APC/IFV version and would seem to be developing a family of vehicles.
There are many other vehicles that are getting massive upgrades as we speak or in development. Left off the list of note is one of my favorites the Terrex 3 and of course the S. Korean offering.
Additionally the US Army Stryker has served longer than desired and is due for a replacement as we speak.
The Australians have locked themselves into buying old tech while the rest of the world is already heading toward more capable vehicles. Land 400 went from being a contest that showed great promise to being a tragedy. Pity. Australia deserves better.