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Australia selects Hanwha's Redback for IFV requirement

Canberra has selected Hanwha's Redback for a long-standing Australian Army infantry fighting vehicle requirement. The Redbacks will be built in Australia and delivered from 2027. (Hanwha)

The Australian government has selected Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) to deliver 129 Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the Australian Army under its Land 400 Phase 3 programme, the country's Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy announced in Canberra on 27 July.

The announcement concludes a five-year tender process during which HDA, a subsidiary of South Korea's Hanwha Group, competed with the Lynx KF41 IFV proposed by Germany's Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) to replace the army's Vietnam-era M113AS4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs). The programme is worth AUD5–7 billion (USD3.3–4.6 billion).

Conroy said the Redbacks would be constructed in Australia at HDA's facility in the Geelong region, near Melbourne, and delivered between early 2027 and late 2028. “With its latest-generation armour, cannon, and missiles, the Redback vehicle will provide the protection, mobility, and firepower required to transport and protect soldiers in close combat.”

The IFVs will be delivered to the army at around the same time as High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and Littoral Manoeuvre Vessels designed to carry a range of heavy vehicles and operate for an extended range over open ocean.

This reflected the call by the recent Defence Strategic Review (DSR) for the army to be transformed for littoral manoeuvre operations from Australia, Conroy said. It also reflected the DSR's assessment that 129 IFVs, rather than the 450 previously anticipated, “is the appropriate number for Australia's future strategic environment”, he said.

HDA confirmed to Janes that the 129 IFVs would be delivered in two variants – Infantry Fighting and Joint Fires.

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