Hanwha launches AS-21 Redback tracked armored IFV in Australia

Hanwha Defense Australia and Team Redback on January 12, 2021, officially launched the AS-21 tracked armored Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) ahead of delivering three Redback vehicles to compete in the test and evaluation trials being conducted as part of the Risk Mitigation Activity for project Land 400 Phase 3 of the Australian Ministry of Defense.
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The AS-21 Redback tracked armored IFV during trial tests in Australia.  (Picture source Youtube )

Land 400Phase 3 is an $18 to $27billion project tasked to acquire a fleet of tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles that will replace the M113AS4 fleet. This is the first time the the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will have a dedicated Infantry Fighting Vehicle and will be the cornerstone of the Army Close Combat Capability. Close Combat Capability is the chief contribution of Army to combat operations.

The Risk Mitigation Activity involves detailed test and evaluation of thevehicles that will be undertaken throughout 2021 with the aim of providing objective quality evidence to support a Government decision on the preferred tenderer.

Team Redback is the group of companies led by Hanwha Defense Australia that will deliver the best of breed technologies from around the world and Australia. Team Redback currently includes Electro Optic Systems, Elbit, ECLIPS, Milspec, Bisalloy, Soucy, Marand and CBG Systems and continues to expand rapidly.

The aim of Team Redback is to deliver an Infantry Fighting Vehicle capability to the Commonwealth that integrates the best of Korean manufacturing expertise and armoured vehicle design with Australian production, supply and integration know-how.

Hanwha’s Redback is a next generation IFVdeveloped specifically for the Australian Infantryman with advantages literally built into it from the ground up. Equipped with advanced situational awareness systems normally found on jet fighters such as see-through vision and helmet slaved systems, the Redback rides on rubber tracks that reduce noise and vibration while offering superior ride quality for its crew and the soldiers it protects.

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

All this is supported an independent suspension system which does not use torsion bars, thus supplying more volume for innovative blast mitigation systems which remove the dependence on old fashioned suspended footrests and other design constraints.

The Redback’s Australian turret has Active Protection Systems, onboard training systems and situational awareness technology all brought together for the first time in a dedicated IFV turret designed right from the start around the infantry soldier.

All integration work needed to prepare the Redback for the Risk Mitigation Activity trials has been undertaken locally by members of Team Redback as part of an unprecedented Australian Industry Capability component of Hanwha’s Land 400Phase 3 bid.

Redback’s main armament is a Mk44S Bushmaster II 30mm cannon capable of firing all kinds of 30mm x 173mm ammunition in service with 19 nations, including the US, the UK, and other allies and NATO forces. The cannon fires ammunition from numerous providers, including advanced munitions such as proximity fused rounds. Every cannon is fitted with a fuse setter for programmable rounds such as programmable air burst munition and proximity fused rounds. It can also be rapidly upgraded to the 40mm Supershot by exchanging three parts, giving increased lethality without the need to modify the turret or cannon.

The Redback is also armed with a 7.62mm co-axially mounted machine gun, and the Electro Optic System’s remote weapon station can be fitted with a range of weapons including a 7.62mm machine gun, a .50calibre machine and an automatic grenade launcher.

Various technologies will be showcased including an Australian developed T2000 turret that will be test-fired later this year as part of the RMA trials. Australian owned and operated company Electro Optic Systems will develop, manufacture and support the T2000 turret in Australia. It will combine the proven ELbit MT30 Mk2 turret with EOS’ fire control and electro optic technology. This would provide a sovereign capability to maintain and update the key turret systems in Australia. The company has focused their integration efforts on improving interoperability between high-tech components while maximising protection, utility and vision for the crew.


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