China unveils first Lynx hybrid 6x6 all-terrain assault vehicle

On September 14, 2023, at the 6th China Tianjin International Helicopter Expo, China unveiled a new military development known as the Lynx. This marked the introduction of a gasoline-electric hybrid assault vehicle into the Chinese military. The Lynx shares design elements with the previously known Bobcat 6x6 and can be transported by a Z-8L transport helicopter.
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The Lynx is the first gasoline-electric hybrid assault vehicle to be officially integrated into the Chinese military forces (Picture source: Chinese social media)

The integration of hybrid technology in the Lynx offers certain advantages, including increased endurance and improved fuel-electric hybrid ratios, which can be beneficial during air transportation and airdrop missions conducted by air assault brigades.

Based on the Bobcat assault vehicle, available in both 4x4 and 6x6 chassis configurations, the Lynx primarily serves infantry teams. Its all-wheel-drive configuration allows it to handle material transport and troop deployment in challenging terrain.

To address concerns about the Bobcat's vulnerability, the Lynx has undergone significant enhancements. The entire vehicle is now fortified with armor, and additional reinforced steel plates have been integrated into the passenger compartment and cockpit, enhancing crew survivability. Enhanced shock absorbers contribute to improved driving comfort. These upgrades have earned the new hybrid 6x6 vehicle the nickname "shelled Lynx."

Despite the added armor and increased weight, the Lynx remains transportable by existing 13-ton helicopters. This upgrade effectively resolves previous issues while harnessing the advantages of the gasoline-electric hybrid model.

One notable feature of the Lynx is its adaptability. It is designed for easy modification to carry heavy machine guns, mortars, and rapid-fire cannons. This adaptability makes the Lynx suitable for Chinese air assault brigades and individual airdrop combat units, providing essential fire support.

From a military standpoint, the Lynx is a gasoline-electric hybrid air assault vehicle that offers several advantages. One key benefit is enhanced fuel efficiency, which can be advantageous in military operations by extending the vehicle's operational range and reducing the need for frequent refueling, particularly in remote or hostile environments.

The Lynx features electric propulsion, which results in reduced noise and heat emissions. This characteristic enhances its stealth capabilities, making it less detectable by enemy forces and reducing its signature on enemy sensors. Consequently, the Lynx becomes well-suited for stealthy reconnaissance missions or surprise attacks. 

The hybrid system, providing instant torque and improved low-speed capabilities, enables the 6x6 to navigate challenging terrains, overcome obstacles, and ascend steep gradients more effectively. Lastly, the combination of gasoline and electric power sources ensures redundancy, allowing for continued operation in case one system fails. This redundancy enhances the Lynx's overall reliability when deployed in the field, contributing to its effectiveness as a military asset.

China Lynx 925 002

The Lynx 6x6 hybrid air assault vehicle can be driven with or without the windscreen down (Picture source: Chinese media)