Shown above is Hanwha Defense’s Redback infantry fighting vehicle. Hanwha launched three Redbacks in Australia before being delivered to the country’s military for year-long tests. After the trials, Australia plans to pick the preferred contender for its mega-sized military project of securing around 450 tracked armored vehicles. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

Korean military powerhouse competes in Australia in IFV project

Hanwha Defense said on Jan. 12 that the company’s fifth-generation infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), dubbed the “Redback,” was launched in Australia before delivery for military tests there.

The Redback is competing to win a mega-sized project _ the Australian military will start tests as part of the Risk Mitigation Activity for the Land 400 Phase 3 project of procuring around 450 new tracked armored vehicles.

Hanwha shipped three Redback vehicles to Melbourne last year. Its rival for the project, which is worth between $18 to $27 billion according to the Melbourne administration, is the Lynx of Germany’s Rheinmetall.

The two contenders will go through detailed test and evaluation throughout this year to become the preferred bidder.

Team Redback, which is headed by Hanwa, vows to deliver the best of breed technologies from around the world and Australia. The team also includes Electro Optic Systems, Elbit, ECLIPS, Milspec, Bisalloy, Soucy, Marand, and CBG Systems.

Hanwha said that the aim of Team Redback is to deliver an IFV capability to the Commonwealth that integrates the best of Korean manufacturing expertise and armored vehicle design with Australian production, supply, and integration know-how.

“The Redback is a highly advanced infantry fighting vehicle, and I believe it to be the safest and most lethal on offer to the Commonwealth,” Hanwha Defense Australia Managing Director Richard Cho said.

“The Risk Mitigation Activity is a great opportunity for the Commonwealth to become familiar with the highly advanced technology seamlessly integrated in Redback.”

He added, “The Iron Vision system that allows the Redback’s crew to effectively look through the hull of the vehicle as though it isn’t there is an absolute game-changer when it comes to operating heavy armored vehicles in close company with dismounted troops.”

The Redback, which is named after an Australian venomous spider, is equipped with advanced situational awareness systems normally found on jet fighters such as see-through vision and helmet slaved systems, according to Hanwha.

The 42-ton vehicle also boasts an advanced layered protection system, including Elbit’s active protection system, Plasan’s world-class armor and a structure designed to protect occupants from the effects of blast.

The armored vehicle, which is capable of hosting a crew of 11 including eight foot soldiers, demonstrates a top road speed of 65 kilometers per hour and an operational range of 500 kilometers.

“If selected for Land 400 Phase 3, Hanwha will construct the vehicles at a purpose-built facility in Greater Geelong, heralding the return of large-scale vehicle manufacturing to the area,” a Hanwha official said.

Observers expect that the Hanwha Redback will also be able to compete for the U.S. Army’s M2 Bradly armored vehicle replacement program, which will start early this year.

News reports had it that the U.S. Army dropped the Rheinmetall Lynx from its Bradley program in 2019.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.