SeoulHanwha Defense Australia (HDA) and Hanwha Aerospace are cooperating on a range technologies and programs aimed at the European defence market. This approach covers several technologies and programs in the region, from Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) and Hanwha’s globally successful Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH) businesses with the K9 and K10 vehicles.

“These export opportunities for Australian companies is something that we are actively working towards,” HDA Managing Director Richard Cho said. “These programs have the potential to take capable Australian companies into other nations as partners and suppliers.”

The co-operation based on the agreement between HDA and Elbit now includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between HDA, Elbit Systems and Hanwha Aerospace to further explore capability and industry programs with the Redback vehicle including upcoming programs in countries world-wide such as Romania, South Korea and others.

The companies believe that the Redback IFV with the export ready Redback Turret is the best solution for militaries looking to gain and maintain a capability edge while supporting local defence industries on a value for money basis.

The Redback turret is an evolution of an Elbit Systems baseline which was configured for the Australian Army’s Land 400 Phase 3 competition. The Redback Turret will be built in Australia and integrated with the Redback vehicle at HDA’s Hanwha Armoured vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) if the company is successful in that competition. The companies are looking to offer the complete IFV solution from Australia to a range of European customers.

Trials of the Redback in Poland and South Korea last year saw the vehicle perform numerous manoeuvrability and reliability tests alongside human factors with both trials resulting in positive outcomes for their respective nations.

“The Redback IFV has the potential to go global with a highly integrated supply chain that builds on the work that HDA has done in Australia and Korea,” Mr Cho said. “The Redback IFV as a whole has a range of technologies from rubber tracks for ride comfort and enhanced situational awareness for the crew to proven and integrated active protection plus armour systems to make it as safe as possible for warfighters.”

“We are pleased and honoured to be working closely with HDA on the Redback Turret which represents the fruit of our very successful co-operation and hope to bring this capability to Australia and beyond,” Mr Boaz Cohen, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, North America and Australia said.

“Hanwha Aerospace has one of the most advanced and reliable IFV technologies in the world through the experience of developing different types of IFVs successfully,” said Executive Vice President Lee Boo-hwan, Head of Hanwha Aerospace Europe. “Hanwha Aerospace is ready to cooperate with any European customer in a way to best meet their needs and requirements.”

HDA is also now a part of Team Thunder in the UK, offering the proven K9 Self Propelled Howitzer to the UK Army. As the world’s leading tracked SPH and with under armour reloading capability boasting enhanced automatic handling systems, the K9 and K10 are a proven system with a large international user community.

In Australia, under LAND 8116 Protected Mobile Fires program, the Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) is now under construction and due to be complete in Q3 2024. The facility will allow HDA and Hanwha Aerospace to leverage Australian companies further into international K9 supply chains by providing co-location and research and development space. Should Hanwha be successful on Land 400 Phase 3, plans are already in place to expand the facility to cater to IFV production.

“We are actively working with companies in Australia like Bisalloy for steel and HIFraser for fire suppression systems that have already gained access to global markets thanks to their work on LAND 8116,” Mr Cho said. “These potential export programs for Hanwha will see Australia presenting globally competitive companies into international supply chains. We are proud to be working with a range of Australian SMEs on Land 8116 and Land 400 Ph 3 that allow us to showcase their capabilities on the world stage.”

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