Ready and revolutionary
Raytheon, Rheinmetall join to offer US Army Next-Gen Combat Vehicle
Pat McCormack climbed in and out of U.S. Army Bradley fighting vehicles thousands of times in his 21-year military career.
“I ate in it. I slept in it,” said McCormack, a former Bradley master gunner for the U.S. Army and now a capability analyst for Raytheon’s Land Warfare Systems. “It becomes your second home when you’re in a Bradley unit.”
He knows the vehicle well. Which means he intimately understands the limitations of the design, which has roots going back decades. McCormack lost a battle buddy in 2004, when two rocket-propelled grenades, fired three seconds apart, struck a Bradley.
Raytheon is working with the German firm Rheinmetall to deliver a proposed replacement for the aging Bradley. The existing Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle could answer the Army’s call for a Next-Generation Combat Vehicle. It is a secure, technologically advanced, mobile fighting fortress.
“We’re offering something that was designed specifically for the battlefield of the future, with a global application,” said Brad Barnard, director of Soldier Systems at Raytheon’s Missile Systems business.
The design will incorporate Raytheon technologies for combat vehicles, including sights, sensors, fire-control systems and missiles. The Lynx, a prototype fighting vehicle built by Rheinmetall, will provide the foundation.
“Rheinmetall and Raytheon have worked together successfully for many years on numerous programs,” said Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division. “We are once again combining the best of German and American engineering to provide the U.S. Army with a step change in capability, giving soldiers the overmatch advantage they expect and deserve.”
The vehicle is faster, smarter, more agile and better-armored than the Bradley.
MODULARITY IS KEY
It’s not just an armored vehicle. It’s a system of subsystems.
Raytheon is “a proven systems integrator,” said McCormack. “We have a great track record for our individual systems that have been out there in combat, saving soldiers’ lives.”
Where the current Bradley now carries three crew members and six infantry, the Lynx has enough space for a full nine-man squad. That will allow the Army to move more soldiers with fewer vehicles, and will offer a platoon more tactical options.
“Rheinmetall has the right approach, from the seats to the systems that protect the people in them,” McCormack said.
The new vehicle has a smaller silhouette and emits less noise and emissions than earlier generations of fighting vehicles, reducing its signature in the field.
Raytheon will install its Active Protection System in the Lynx, allowing it to intercept and shoot down rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.
Part of being protected is situational awareness. The new vehicle features a 360-degree field of view.
The Bradley carries the 2nd GEN FLIR, but the Lynx will be equipped with next-generation thermal sights, offering enhanced range performance, resolution and image quality.
The Lynx can carry up to four missiles, offering double the antitank missile capability than the existing Bradley. These same launchers can be used to launch other weapons or surveillance systems.
Raytheon is working on an upgraded TOW® missile to meet the Army’s requirement for an extended-range, anti-tank, guided missile. The company is improving the missile’s propulsion system, giving it greater distance and speed.
Other Raytheon technologies earmarked for the Lynx include the Coyote® unmanned aircraft system, which is equipped with special software that enables several to work together by flying in a swarm. Some collect information, while others identify and attack ground targets. The Coyote UAS is also an effective counter-drone technology.
Like those systems, the new vehicle will be made in America and used globally.
As the U.S. continues to strengthen its coalition partnerships, the country will increasingly find itself fighting alongside its allies.
“We start rolling out 35-, 40-year-old Bradleys against a modern, peer-armored threat and M1s are going to take the brunt of it,” McCormack said. “With Lynx, it really puts the maneuver force in a position to employ revolutionary capabilities, instead of trying to figure out how to get the old ones to work.”