Hanwha Defense have proposed a development of the K21 known as the AS21 Redback equipped with a 40mm caliber automatic cannon for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 IFV competition. In mid-September 2019, Rheinmetall Defence’s Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and Hanwha’s Redback AS-21 IFV were shortlisted for consideration for the Australian Army’s AUD10-15 billion (USD6.9-10.3 billion) Project Land 400 Phase 3 to provide the Australian Army with up to 450 modern IFVs and 17 manoeuvre support vehicles.
The AS21 Redback was unveiled in an ceremony held on 15 October that was attended by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon and Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, among others. The platform is a heavily upgraded version of the K21 IFV, which has been in service with the Republic of Korea Army since 2009. The initial production began in 2009, with the Republic of Korea Army planning to field approximately 466 units. It is designed to effectively defeat other IFVs as heavily armed and armored as the BMP-3.
The AS21 Redback weighs 42 tons, can reach speeds of up to 65 km/h, has a maximum range of 520 km, a crew of three and can carry up to eight additional troops. The platform is being offered with the new T2000 two-man, 30 mm turret, which was developed by Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS) and will benefit from close collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems on C4I systems integration.
Main armament options of the T2000 range from a 25 mm to a 50 mm cannon, a 7.62 or 5.56 mm co-axial machinegun, an integrated, shock-isolated pop-up launcher that can deploy a single Javelin or two Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles, and an EOS R400S Mk 2 HD remote weapon station (RWS) that can mount weapons up to and including the M230LF 30 mm lightweight cannon. An alternative RWS is the EOS R150 capable of mounting 5.56 mm to 12.7 mm machine guns.