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Redback completes RoK Army trials to support exports

Hanwha Defense's Redback IFV is pictured undergoing trials with the RoK Army. (Hanwha Defense)

The Republic of Korea (RoK) Army has completed trials of Hanwha Defense's Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) in support of a potential procurement of the platform and international marketing efforts.

A Hanwha Defense spokesperson told Janes on 30 May that the six-week trials were primarily focused on validating the vehicle to support exports. He added, “But the trial was very significant and symbolic concerning the RoK Army's potential use of the vehicle.”

Hanwha Defense said in a statement that the Redback trials could support a domestic fast-track procurement programme, led by the country's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Citing Brigadier General Cho Hyun-ki, the head of the DAPA's Maneuver Program Department, the statement added that the trial is “expected to be a strong basis for the Redback's international sales and marketing”.

Brig Gen Cho also said DAPA is considering acquiring a “Korean version” of the Redback under a “fast-track research and development (R&D) programme”.

“With this approach, the RoK Army will be able to deploy next-generation IFVs earlier than schedule,” he said. Hanwha Defense said DAPA's fast-track R&D programme is designed to accelerate the procurement of military systems that have been trialled and verified by the military.

To support a potential sale to the RoK Army, the Redback is also scheduled to undertake durability and manoeuvrability tests across different Korean terrains from August 2022. Hanwha Defense said this testing will cover “around 10,000 km of driving on rough terrain as well as on paved and unpaved roads”.

Other trials to test the Redback's “reliability and capability” would follow, the Hanwha Defense spokesperson told Janes.

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