Hanwha’s 5th-generation Redback IFV is expected to begin trials for the South Korean Army between April to June 2022 to modernise the military’s IFV fleet.
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The Republic of Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has confirmed that it will begin trialling Hanwha’s Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) from next year as part of a force modernisation plan.
Designed for the LAND 400 Phase 3 program, the 5th-generation IFV is contending to replace the M114 armoured personnel carrier (APC). Currently, the Redback is competing against Rheinmetall’s LYNX and is undergoing a series of Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) testing procedures to trial and evaluate the system.
According to a statement by Hanwha, the Redback will undergo testing by the South Korean Army between April and June 2022. Despite intending to expand their current fleet of K21 IFVs, the South Korean Army hopes to modernise their fleet following demonstrations of the Redback’s Iron Fist Active Protection, Iron Vision and SPIKE LR-2 anti-tank guided missile systems.
The announcement follows an agreement between Hanwha Defense Australia and Elphinstone for the development of the Redback hull, which was confirmed by the companies at LAND FORCES.
Richard Cho, managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia, outlined that the agreement will support the company’s supply chain.
“Hanwha will help expand Australia’s defence industry base through our involvement with Elphinstone, and we will also introduce them to other parts of the broader Hanwha Group, which may also benefit from Elphinstone’s proven manufacturing capabilities,” Cho outlined.
The testing also comes as negotiations between Hanwha and the United Kingdom government for the development of locally manufactured K9 Howitzer weapons systems.
Oh Kyea-Hwan, vice president of Hanwha Defense International, outlined that Hanwha’s global footprint delivers cheap and impactful military solutions.
“Building on the developing relationship between the UK and South Korea, we are delighted to invite the UK to join the K9 global family.
“By working together with nations around the world, Hanwha is able to offer a cost-effective and modular approach.
“Ultimately, this makes us all more resilient and allows us to integrate more easily when it matters most.
“The K9 is an innovator in the self-propelled howitzer market, and we see great things ahead for an amalgamation of UK industrial expertise and South Korean technology,” Oh concluded.