The Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), developed by South Korean company Hanwha Defense, has demonstrated its outstanding performance during a media invitation event held on May 27 at an Army unit. The event took place at the end of the Republic of Korean Army’s six-week-long trial of the next-generation IFV. The ROK Army trial followed the Redback’s successful tests and evaluations last year under the Australian Risk Mitigation Activity to select the preferred bidder for the LAND 400 Phase 3 project aimed at acquiring about 400 next-generation IFVs. During the media event, the tracked armoured vehicle impressed the audience by showcasing its off-road manoeuvrability through an obstacle course, including a ramp and a muddy puddle of water. The vehicle also performed its pivot steer; turret rotation; and troop dismounting.
“The reliability and sophisticated technology of the Redback IFV has been proved during the latest ROK Army trial run of the vehicle, which is expected to be a strong basis for the Redback’s international sales and marketing. Domestically, we consider acquiring a Korean version of the Redback meeting the ROK Army’s operational concept and capable of featuring technology and performance required by the service, under a fast-track research and development programme. With this approach, the ROK Army will be able to deploy next-generation IFVs earlier than schedule, which will contribute to improving the service’s capability to deploy and sustain armed forces,” said Brig. Gen. Cho Hyun-ki, head of the DAPA’s Manoeuvre Programme Department.
Hanwha Defense is on track to meet the potential demands of the ROK Army, as the company is scheduled to conduct the durability testing on the Redback’s manoeuvrability on the Korean terrain from August this year. The testing is to cover around 10,000 kilometres of driving on rough terrain as well as on paved and unpaved roads. The fast-track R&D programme is aimed at procuring weapons systems equipped with the latest technologies after verifying the military utilisation of the systems concerned. With this rapid R&D programme, the military is able to shorten the period of introducing state-of-the-art weapons systems to an extent. Taking advantage of core technologies of the K21 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the Redback was developed to meet the operational requirements of the Australian Defence Force.
The Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle features several innovative technologies such as the composite rubber track; the Iron Vision see-through helmet mounted display; the Iron Fist hard-kill active protection system; the In-arm type hydro-pneumatic suspension unit; the offboard Health and Usage Management System; and the Solar Sigma Shield technology. The Redback is also receiving strong attention from the US and European markets. The Oshkosh Defense Consortium, including Hanwha Defense USA, is trying to leverage the proven capability of the Redback for the US Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) design effort. Several European nations have also shown in the Redback for their IFV acquisition programmes.