Australia signs USD2.4 billion contract with Hanwha for IFV requirement

by Kapil Kajal

The Redback IFV (pictured above) weighs 42 tonnes and has a length, a width, and a height of 7.9 m, 3.64 m, and 3.75 m respectively. It has a maximum onroad speed of 65 km/h with a seating capacity for a crew of three and up to eight troops. (Hanwha Defense Australia)

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a USD2.4 billion contract with Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) to deliver 129 Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the Australian Army under its Land 400 Phase 3 programme, HDA said in a press release on 8 December.

According to HDA, the contract includes the development and delivery of training system and support system components until Final Acceptance (FA) in 2029, with an initial support contract for the first five years following delivery.

Hanwha said the Redback deliveries will commence in 2027, with the final vehicle set to be delivered in late 2028. “A series of eight prototype vehicles will also be manufactured in both South Korea and Australia as the programme develops,” the company added.

According to the DoD, Redbacks will be operated by the army's 3rd Armoured Combat Brigade based in Townsville.


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US Army proving out snowmobiles for resupply, manoeuvre

by Meredith Roaten

A US Army snow machine pulls a sled full of Meals, Ready-to-Eat during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center 24-02 training rotation in February 2024. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

Soldiers supported brigades from the backs of snowmobiles for the US Army's first large-scale exercise with a significant number of machines, service officials told Janes during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation held from 12 to 22 February at Fort Greely, Alaska.

The exercise utilised more than 100 Polaris snow machines for resupply and medical evacuation, and to transport soldiers, Major General Brian Eifler told Janes on 21 February. Arctic leaders are still facingquestions about sustainment for such a large force of machines and what kind of machines should stock the army's fleet, he said.

The 11th Airborne Division purchased 160 snowmachines to put two with each company, modelled after Canada's Arctic operations, Maj Gen Eifler told Janes in October 2023. Canada and Mongolia participated in the JPMRC rotation, but Canada had the largest presence in the exercise.


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US Army builds out new cold weather vehicle for command-and-control

by Meredith Roaten

The US Army's 11th Airborne Division Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle variants are outfitted with radios and Starshield to perform command-and-control functions. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

The first – almost fully decked out – command-and-control (C2) variants of the Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV), complete with shifted seating arrangements and integrated communications equipment, have been used in the first large scale exercise, a US Army brigade combat team commander told Janes.

The new CATVs were first put through their paces at Operation ‘Wolf Valkyrie', a brigade field training exercise in December 2023 that laid the groundwork for their participation in the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation at Fort Greely, Alaska.

“It was just our way of training ourselves and some of our mission-essential tasks to set us up for this validation,” Colonel Sean Lucas, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, told Janes in an interview during JPMRC 24-02, which took place from 12 to 22 February.


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US Army tests new cold-weather medical equipment

by Meredith Roaten

The US Army's medical evacuation sled includes an extra piece of plastic bolted on to provide cover for patients being pulled by snow machine. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

As the US Army works to phase out Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs) and replace them with Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles (CATVs), army medics are trying out a new sled for evacuation in the Arctic environment, medical officers said during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation.

CATVs can perform medical evacuations, but there were not enough of them to sustain the patient load, said Captain Loyal Farley, surgeon for Battalion 3509. The 11th Airborne Division has SUSVs, but they are “outdated or unreliable”, making sleds pulled by snow machine (alternatively known as snowmobile) the best option for the exercise that took place from 12 to 22 February, said First Lieutenant Stephen Meyer, physician's assistant for Battalion 3509.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/australia-signs-usd24-billion-contract-with-hanwha-for-ifv-requirement

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has signed a USD2.4 billion contract with Hanwha Defense ...

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