SingaporeThe Australian government has selected Hanwha Defense Australia as the preferred tenderer to deliver 129 infantry fighting vehicles to the Australian Army, as part of a major transformation of the Army in response to Australia’s changing strategic environment. The government has also decided that the new vehicles will be built in Australia at Hanwha’s facilities in the Geelong region.

Building the vehicles locally will support thousands of high-skilled jobs, provide a significant economic boost to around 100 Australian defence industry companies and support Australia’s strategic imperative to develop sovereign defence manufacturing capabilities.

The LAND 400 Phase 3 project will have a value of between $5 billion and $7 billion, making it one of the largest capability acquisition projects in the history of the Army.

The project will deliver Hanwha’s state of the art Redback infantry fighting vehicles that will provide high level protection and mobility for soldiers. The new vehicles will replace Defence’s M113 armoured personnel carriers which were acquired in 1964.

The government is accelerating this acquisition so that the first vehicle will be delivered in early 2027, two years earlier than the former Government had planned. The final vehicle will be delivered by 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, giving them the highest chance of achieving their mission and returning home safely.

The acquisition of these infantry fighting vehicles is part of the Government’s drive to modernise the Australian Army to ensure it can respond to the most demanding land challenges in our region.

Significantly, the infantry fighting vehicles will be delivered at around the same time as the new HIMARS missile systems and Army Landing Craft – reflecting the Defence Strategic Review’s call for Army to be transformed for littoral manoeuvre operations from Australia.

The acquisition also reflects the Defence Strategic Review’s assessment that 129 infantry fighting vehicles is the appropriate number for Australia’s future strategic environment.

This decision demonstrates how the Albanese Government is providing the Australian Defence Force with the capabilities it needs to defend Australia and protect our national security.

Defence will now enter negotiations with the preferred tenderer and return to Government for final approval before the contract is finalised.

Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy saida: “The Albanese Government is deeply committed to investing in the security of our nation and the safety of Australian soldiers. We are also committed to supporting Australian defence industry so we can make more of the critical defence equipment we need in this country rather than relying on overseas suppliers. Our decision to build the Redback infantry fighting vehicles in Australia will support up to 600 direct jobs and more than a thousand jobs in the Australian industry supply chain. I would like to thank both Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Defence Australia for their highly professional participation in the extensive and thorough process of selecting Australia’s new infantry fighting vehicle.”

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  1. As we have already discussed 129 will not be nearly enough but at least something is better than nothing. Hopefully common sense will kick in at some point and numbers will increase along with more Huntsman systems.

  2. I’m surprised (pleasantly) that Hanwha won the Contract and are still going to build them in Australia. I thought for sure, considering the Boxer deal with Germany, Rheinmetall had it wrapped up, Still confusing that the number was cut to 129 as a cost saving but the Department hasn’t blinked at paying 9.8 Billion for C130Js or 307 Million for SURTAS or 2.5 Million for secondhand Tanks. I suppose we, as Tax Payers, should be grateful that the DoD got something right ( assuming what has been told to us is correct )

    • The Northrop Grumman (formerly ATK) 30mm gun is fairly ferocious. I would have gone 35mm or even 40mm (the Swedish IFV configuration). The US is moving to 50mm, so the bigger the better – keeping in mind the platform has limits.

    • 30mm with the added capability of ABM is plenty capable for this platform, no need to turn the IFV into a light-tank.

  3. I find it difficult to believe that the proposed Redback and As9 / As10 numbers will not be increased down the track.

    Time will tell.

  4. Great decision, the numbers to be required are disappointing what are rest of our combat infantry riding in or on bicycles?

    Hopefully they will just order more like they are with bushmaster rather than shut it all down after 129 are built.

    I understand we don’t like to own government production facilities, but now we will have armour vehicle production centres in , Geelong, Ballarat and Ivanhoe!

    Each with similar production equipment testing grounds service centres etc all at great cost for a country our size that seems excessive given the numbers we require.

    It all too late now, but could we have had a gov production centre, contract out for the designs and production and then licence the production

    Then continuous production of , bushmasters, Hawkins, boxers , huntsman and Redback,

    Australians are great inventors, and have had lot of input to all the about apart from the huntsman, but ghost bat, ghost shark, EOS, wedgetail etc all us

    Seems like we have missed an opportunity here


  5. Great they finally made a decision/commitment. But agree with other comments about it being too few, I would have thought that a more understandable bare minimum would have added 1 extra company of IFV’s (increasing total to 4, so as to allow for support of littoral ops without weakening the basic unit) & 20 nemo mortar variant to integrate a battery of 12 into the battalion (for independent fires) plus training element, then add 20 (min) combat support vehicles to supply the battalion/battery in the battlefield & 10 artillery fire directors to co-ordinate fires in the brigade and 10 ambulances. These last being necessary for survival of these vital missions on a full on battlefield

  6. It is criminal that only 129 vehicles will be procured. looking at how INCREDIBLY important combined arms warfare is from recent conflicts, and how protected soldiers must be from threats, it is only fitting that more IFVs be procured


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