Following the news that Australia has selected Hanwha Defense’s AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), Kandlikar Venkatesh, a defence analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, offers his view:
“The procurement of AS21 Redback IFVs aimed at replacing the obsolete M113 fleet will be a major enhancement to Australia’s defence capabilities, indicating the country’s commitment to modernising its military infrastructure. Furthermore, the contract’s emphasis on domestic manufacturing aligns with the country’s focus on strengthening the local defence industry.
“The decision to award the IFVs contract to South Korean firm Hanwha Defense is significant from the perspective of the Indo-Pacific region (IOR). As a response to China’s increasing presence and influence in the IOR, the strategic defence collaboration between Australia and South Korea allows for intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and defense cooperation, which collectively serve as a proactive measure to counterbalance China’s growing impact and assertiveness in the IOR.
“Amid the dynamic and evolving geopolitical landscape, Australia’s continuous investment in military land vehicles marks a crucial step in safeguarding the country’s interests and contributing to regional stability. According to GlobalData, Australia is projected to spend approximately $7.5 billion on military land vehicles over the next ten years to augment its defense capabilities. The latest procurement of AS21 Redbacks will enable Australia’s land forces to effectively respond to a wide range of threats while at the same time fostering cooperation with allies in the IOR.”