Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has outlined the supposed capability advantages of Soucy’s Composite Rubber Track system, to be fitted to the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
The Redback is under consideration by the Commonwealth under an ongoing tender process for Project Land 400 Phase 3, which is an $18-$27 billion project tasked to acquire 450 IFVs for the ADF.
According to the company, Soucy’s Composite Rubber Track (CRT) offers many advantages over conventional metal track designs including “up to 70 per cent less vibration, up to 13.5 decibels of noise reduction, less weight, better manoeuvrability, up to 80 per cent less maintenance, and better efficiency that enables higher top vehicle speeds or fuel savings of up to 30 per cent”.
The decision for HDA to specify the Soucy CRT for its Redback IFV follows a long and collaborative relationship between HDA’s parent company Hanwha Defence Corporation (HDC) and Soucy, which saw HDC working with Soucy’s CRT system for vehicles in the Korean Defence Force.
Should the Redback be selected, this arrangement will reportedly see 50 per cent of Soucy’s CRT technology transferred to HDA to enable local manufacture of track mechanical components such as road wheels and idlers to be sub-licensed to Australian industry. This work is reportedly likely to be awarded to one or more small to medium sized companies following the completion of an ongoing market testing activity.
“Hanwha’s overall AIC strategy is to deliver to our customer the best technologies from Australia and around the world,” Richard Cho, Managing Director of HDA, said. “In this instance, Soucy’s CRT is a highly innovative product that offers significant advantages and we are enormously pleased to be working with them to bring that technology to Australia under the Risk Mitigation Activity.”
“Soucy has a long history of working successfully with Hanwha,” Normand Lalonde from Soucy said. “We are excited to see that relationship extend into Australia with our CRT on the Redback IFV. Soucy has a long-term strategy for the Asia-Pacific region and our co-operation with Hanwha is an important part of that.”
Soucy International has also recently being awarded a contract to deliver prototype CRT systems to the US Army Ground Vehicle Systems Centre where they will be used during experimentation of manned and unmanned Next Generation Combat Vehicle platforms.
“With the advantages of the Soucy CRT being so clear and decisive, we were gratified but not really surprised to see the US interest in the system,” Cho said. “I think CRT is going to be the best solution for many programs and I am proud that Hanwha is working with Soucy to bring it to Australia.”