Australia-based Electro Optic Systems (EOS), acting through its EOS Defence Systems subsidiary, has announced a partnership with Hanwha Defence Australia to tender for the multibillion-dollar LAND 400 Phase 3 program.
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As part of the teaming arrangement, Hanwha is prime contractor and EOS is the principal first tier subcontractor to supply the AS21 Redback for the multibillion-dollar LAND 400 Phase 3 program to supply infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) and armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) for the Australian Army.
The AS21 Redback is based on the K21 IFV currently in service with the South Korean Army. The Redback variant will be an enhanced version of the standard K21, providing more protection against current ballistic and mine threats, with a larger internal volume to accommodate eight dismount troops and a crew of three soldiers including the driver, commander and gunner.
If the Hanwha-EOS team is successful in achieving the contract award, the EOS work share in the program will exceed $1 billion over eight years for equipment acquisition, driven by the EOS T-2000 turret, which was announced at the 2019 Avalon Aerospace Expo and Airshow.
Sungsoo Lee, president and CEO of Hanwha Defence, said, "Hanwha’s four decades of experience delivering over 7,000 armoured vehicles has been distilled to create Redback in response to the next-generation requirements of the Australian Army.
"We believe Redback, in combination with the EOS turret, establishes a new global standard for simultaneously optimising protection, lethality, weight, mobility, price and future growth for a fighting vehicle."
The EOS T-2000 turret system is a collaborative development between EOS and Israeli Elbit Systems, providing a next-generation, medium-calibre turret and incorporates a number of key technology and capability enhancements, including:
- Unprecedented firepower with 30-40mm high performance cannon, 30mm lightweight cannon, and up to two 7.62mm GPMG;
- 21st century situational awareness, including see-through armour, laser warning and 360-degree radar;
- Integrated active protection;
- Anti-tank guided missile fully integrated and protected;
- UAS (unmanned aerial system) management port for UAS deployment and operation, as well as counter-UAS systems;
- Embedded training and crew procedural simulation; and
- A manned version, or unmanned version with no hull penetration.
Group CEO of EOS Dr Ben Greene welcomed the announcement of collaboration, saying, "The Redback is an ideal platform for our T-2000 turret because the performance, cost and weight advantages of the turret are fully capitalised when combined with Redback’s advanced design features."
This collaboration represents a significant investment for the partners over many years, and the performance advantages of Redback with T-2000 will be exploited in joint marketing campaigns through 2019 and beyond.
EOS will manufacture the turret in Australia, drawing on EOS' existing Australian supply chain that will be expanded to meet the growing turret demand, which is worth more than US$4 billion globally.
LAND 400 Phase 3 is a $10-15 billion Army program that will recapitalise Army’s Vietnam-era M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) force, with a combination of a tracked IFV and tracked APC. The broader LAND 400 project will deliver enhanced levels of survivability to the Joint Land Force, including sensors, weapons and information systems that will be networked to strategic intelligence platforms.