Hanwha Defense has shown off its prototype of the AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), which the South Korean company is offering to Australia in its bid for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project.
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The prototype was unveiled at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2019 (ADEX 2019), which is currently taking place in South Korea.
Earlier in the year, Hanwha partnered with EOS Systems to launch its LAND 400 Phase 3 bid, as well as accelerating plans to establish a self-reliant manufacturing base in Australia, in Victoria.
Australia's LAND 400 Phase 3 program will replace the M113 armoured personnel carriers, providing the Army with an advanced, world-class IFV capability.
The AS21 will include the capability to integrate active protection systems into an evolved turret system. The Redback will be capable of hosting a crew of 11 (three crew, eight troops), a top road speed of 70km/h, cross country speed of 40km/h, an operational range of 500 kilometres, with an armament consisting of a 40mm autocannon and a single 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
“The Redback IFV is a fifth-generation combat vehicle for the Royal Australian Infantry characterised around a design to fight and win against peer competitors. The Redback is a vehicle which has been purpose-built to meet the requirements for the Australian user. Recognising that the solider system lies at the heart of this vehicle, the Redback has integrated active protection systems, comfortable space for eight Australian Infantry dismounts, rubber tracks to improve ride quality, and significant additional growth margins to accommodate additional upgrades and as much kit as the infantry soldier requires,” a statement from Hanwha read following its down-selection for the program.
Hanwha is competing with Rheinmetall's Lynx KF41 IFV solution for the project, with Rheinmetall suffering a setback overseas earlier this week after being dropped from the US' M2 Bradly IFV replacement program.
The decision was made after the joint team of Rheinmetall and Raytheon were denied an extension for their proposed delivery date to the US, meaning General Dynamics Land Systems’ offering is the only vehicle remaining in the competition.