South Korean defence company Hanwha Defense has joined forces with Australian steel maker Bisalloy Steels to build armoured combat vehicles and self-propelled howitzers for international markets.
The companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 7. Under the agreement, Hanwha Defense will procure Bisalloy Steel for its signature land defence platforms, such as the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, for exports to international markets beyond Australia.
Bisalloy Steel is one of the Australian Industrial Capability (AIC) partner firms for Hanwha Defense Australia, which is participating in Commonwealth’s Land 400 Phase 3 program with the Redback IFV.
Both companies will also conduct joint technical analysis and development of integration of Bisally steel into the Redback and K9 for exports to the market of Europe and others.
“We’re pleased to work closely with Hanwha Defense and enter its global supply chain," Michael Gundy, Managing Director of Bisalloy Steels, said. "Bisalloy steels capability has been proven over its 40-year history, and through working together we believe we will contribute to Hanwha’s product portfolio and its international business. We look forward to expanding our business with Hanwha in the years ahead.”
Armoured steels are a crucial component of army strength, while demand for establishing secondary supply chain in critical materials is forecast to accelerate due to the pandemic and increasing security threats. The MoU between Hanwha Defense and Bisalloy provides 'a practical example of how to cope with the potential supply chain risk', the companies say.
“We are very excited to expand cooperation with Bisalloy Steels for international markets, as we have been delighted with Bisalloy steel’s proven quality through the performance of the Redback IFV,” Son Jae-il, CEO and President of Hanwha Defense, said.
“We will explore ways to use Bisally steel further for the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, as well as the Redback IFV,” Son said. “Upon the recent contract with Egypt over the K9, in particular, we will review ways to utilise the Australian steel for the K9A1EGY project first.”
Hanwha Defense signed a $1.6 billion contract on February 1 with the Egyptian Ministry of Defense to jointly produce the K9 and other support vehicles.