Hanwha has rolled out two prototypes of the Redback armoured infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to be delivered to the Australian Army.
The delivery is taken under the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) contract under Land 400 Phase 3.
The rollout ceremony took place on July 24 at a factory in Changwon, some 400 kilometres southeast of Seoul. Hanwha’s Test Support Team will soon depart for Australia.
The Redback was shortlisted as one of the two final candidates for the Land 400 Phase 3 RMA stage in September last year. The acquisition program is aimed at introducing up to 450 tracked IFVs, comprising eight variants.
Following the shortlist, Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA) signed a $50 million RMA contract with the CASG to provide three RMA vehicles for test and evaluation.
Hanwha says two Redback RMA vehicles have been shipped from Pyeongtaek Port and will arrive in Melbourne in late August, where they will be met by Hanwha’s test support team. ADM understands the third vehicle is currently being manufactured and will be shipped to Australia in late October.
Army will test the vehicles from November for 10 months. User training and evaluation sessions will also be held during this period.
The Redback IFV is based on Hanwha’s indigenous K21 IFV and the power-pack solution of the K9 self-propelled howitzer. Both systems have been deployed with the South Korean Army and Marine Corps.
In particular, the introduction of an In-Arm type hydropneumatics Suspension Unit (ISU) has helped reduce the overall weight of the vehicle in comparison to the traditional design of IFV, while the design reinforces belly protection against landmines and bomb attacks.
The Redback is to be integrated with Israel Elbit Systems’ 30mm MT30 unmanned weapon station and the Remote Weapon Station (RCW) built by Australia’s EOS Defence Systems. It is also equipped with the Composite Rubber Track (CRT) system provided by Canada’s Soucy Defence.