American Rheinmetall designing interchangeable cannon for XM30

By Nickolai Sukharev  / October 13, 2023

American Rheinmetall's submission for the Army's next infantry fighting vehicle will have an interchangeable cannon, according to the company.

“We did that purposely so that it would be modular and [the Army] would have options available,” Michael Milner, the vice president of business development at American Rheinmetall, told Inside Defense at the 2023 Association of the United States Army annual conference in Washington.

Speaking about the design, Milner said the company created a specific uncrewed turret with a cannon that can be changed between the 30- and 50-millimeter calibers.

“The turret structure doesn’t need to change,” Milner added.

American Rheinmetall’s XM30 submission is based on the company’s Lynx KF41, a tracked infantry fighting vehicle that can be armed with a 30- or 35-millimeter cannon and carry up to six infantry soldiers.

Previously called the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, the XM30 will be a tracked infantry fighting vehicle designed to support dismounted infantry in combat and will replace the Army’s current Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The XM30 will feature an autocannon, remote turret and troop compartment to carry soldiers.

In June, the Army down selected American Rheinmetall and General Dynamics Land Systems for the detailed prototyping phase for the competition. The two companies will deliver prototypes to the Army for testing in 2024 before the selection for final production in 2027, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The company also made changes to the wheelbase, which Milner declined to elaborate on due to classification.

Milner added that the company examined which crew functions could be fully automated, partially automated or had to be performed manually and designed the vehicle to allow the two-person crew to interchange roles rather than solely function as a driver or commander.

“We’ve tried to offload tasks from those two crew members,” Milner said. “I’ll leave it to the Army to decide what their [labels] will be.”

GDLS, which produces the Army’s Abrams and Stryker vehicles as well as the forthcoming Booker mobile protected firepower vehicle, is submitting a newly designed vehicle but would not comment other than to say they are on track to deliver a prototype in 2024, according to an October press call and company representatives attending the conference.