Shown above is the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle of Hanwha Defense. The firm has agreed to cooperate with Bisalloy Steels to build the Redback and other weapons. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Defense

Two companies will cooperate for Redback and K9

Hanwha Defense, South Korea’s business bellwether, announced on Feb. 14 that it had agreed to cooperate with Bisalloy Steels to build armored combat vehicles and self-propelled howitzers.

Toward that end, Hanwha Defense signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this month with Bisalloy Steels, an Australian manufacturer of specialized high-performance steel products.

Under the agreement, Hanwha Defense will procure Bisalloy’s products for its signature land defense platforms, such as the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, for exports to international markets beyond Australia.

Bisalloy Steels 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 Bisalloy steel into the Redback and K9 for exports to Europe and other markets.

Bisalloy Steels Managing Director Michael Gundy expressed his hope for expanding the firm’s business with Hanwha Defense in the years to come.

“We’re pleased to work closely with Hanwha Defense and enter its global supply chain. 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,” he said.

Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il noted that the two-way cooperation provides a practical example of how to cope with the potential supply chain risk.

Armored steels are a crucial component of army strength, while demand for establishing a secondary supply chain in critical materials is forecast to accelerate due to the pandemic and increasing security threats.

“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 said.

“We will explore ways to use Bisalloy steel further for the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, as well as the Redback IFV. Upon the recent contract with Egypt over the K9, in particular, we will review ways to utilize the Australian steel for the K9A1EGY project first.”

Hanwha Defense signed a $1.6 billion contract early this month with the Egyptian Ministry of Defense to jointly produce the K9 and other support vehicles.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at homin30@hanmail.net or 82-2-6956-6698.