U.S. company Oshkosh Defense has signed an exclusive teaming agreement with South Korean firm Hanwha Defense for the digital design phase of the US Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program intended to procure a variety of armored vehicles and replace existing platforms that are nearing the end of their service life. The optionally manned fighting vehicle (OMFV) program is a key element of the US Army’s modernization effort that includes replacing the M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle which has seen service since the early 1980s.
“Bringing together the heritage of two innovative, reliable, and successful land systems companies gives me great confidence that Hanwha and Oshkosh, with our other consortium partners, will deliver the next-generation infantry fighting vehicle the American soldier clearly deserves,” Bernard S. Champoux, head of Hanwha Defense’s US operations, was quoted as saying.
Hanwha Defense said it shares Oshkosh’s demonstrated passion for quality and responsiveness to the customer. The partnership reflects Hanwha’s elevated reputation abroad as a reliable producer of weapons, such as the AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) which has been shortlisted as a candidate for an Australian Army project to replace M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. Hanwha’s AS21 Redback and Rheinmetall Defence’s Lynx KF41 IFV are being offered for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 IFV programme.
The Redback IFV is an advanced version of the K21 IFV, which is in service with the South Korean Army (ROK Army). The Republic of Korea Army planning to field approximately 466 units. The K21 is designed to effectively defeat other IFVs as heavily armed and armored as the BMP-3. The AS21 Redback IFV will be fitted with EOS T-2000 turret, which offers advanced sensing, engagement and command and control capabilities. The maximum combat weight of the turret will be 6,000kg, which includes weapons, missiles, APS, remote weapon station (RWS), and full ammunition load.