Hanwha introduced us to the infantry vehicle with the highest degree of protection in the world

Recorded by George Marinescu
English Section / 20 iunie

Hanwha introduced us to the infantry vehicle with the highest degree of protection in the world

Versiunea în limba română

The defense industry companies from South Korea entered the Romanian market strongly in the last year, their competitive advantage over the other industrial groups in the West being represented by the short delivery time of the products. Practically after signing the purchase contracts, Koreans will deliver the first product a maximum of 2 years and 6 months, unlike companies from Germany, France, Great Britain or the USA that will deliver the first product in a period between 3 and 5 years. That's why it didn't surprise anyone that last month in Bucharest we attended the Black Sea Defense&Aerospace (BSDA 2024) exhibition of military technique and equipment, a real landing of Korean companies in the defense industry who want to collaborate with companies from our country for making assembly lines of military equipment that economic agents from the Far East produce in their own country and sell them all over the globe. Among the big companies, there was Hanwha, which earlier this year offered the Ministry of National Defense the K9 self-propelled howitzer, and at BSDA presented the Redback - a military tracked infantry vehicle.

About the features of this new combat vehicle, we invite you to learn more from the interview conducted with Ilho So, an engineer in the Research Department of the Hanwha company.

Reporter: What can you tell us about the equipment contained in the Redback crawler?

Ilho So: We are talking about a self-propelled, tracked gun that is built in such a way as to provide maximum protection to both those inside the vehicle and the infantry coming up behind this vehicle. So basically we are not only talking about a very high firepower, but also about the best performing infantry fighting vehicle, because it has several protection systems, offering multiple protection, having practically the highest level of protection globally in this moment. The Redback is served by a crew of 9-11 people: one is the driver of the vehicle, another is the commander, the third is the gunner, and in the rear there are another six or eight soldiers who feed the cannon with the necessary shells and perform other orders received from the commander. The Redback's primary armament is a 30mm Mk44S Bushmaster II cannon capable of firing all types of 30mm by 173mm ammunition. The vehicle is made jointly with 19 countries, including the US, UK and other allies. Each gun is equipped with a shell fuse adjustment device. It can also be quickly upgraded to the 40mm Supershot by changing three components resulting in increased lethality. In addition to the cannon, it also has a Remote Weapons Station (RWS), consisting of a 5.56-millimeter machine gun, two machine guns - one 7.62-millimeter, another 12.7-millimeter - and a 40 mm caliber grenades.

Reporter: What is the autonomy of the vehicle in combat conditions?

Ilho So: Depends on the terrain and military operations conducted in each country. The vehicle you see here is also in the equipment of the Australian army as a support for tanks, having a multiple role in the battle. We have a contract with the Australian Army to build and supply 129 Redback IFV combat vehicles. The maximum speed of such a vehicle is 70 kilometers per hour.

Reporter: Are we to understand that the Redback only functions as a support for tanks and self-propelled howitzers?

Ilho So: No. The Red-back is primarily a support vehicle for infantry troops, but can also be used very well as firepower on the battlefield against enemy tanks.

Reporter: How safe is this vehicle for the 11 people inside? What is the degree of protection offered to them?

Ilho So: From what I know, Red-back has the highest degree of protection globally at the moment.

Turret equipped with a cannon and Remote Weapons Station (RWS)

Reporter: How much does such a combat vehicle cost?

Ilho So: It depends on the options desired by the state purchasing such a vehicle. That's why I can't tell you an exact price.

Reporter: Compared to other vehicles in its category, is the price high or low?

Ilho So: It is possible that some may find the price a bit high, unlike other vehicles in the same category, but we are talking about a tracked vehicle capable of hunting and destroying tanks much larger than it. Red-back offers the highest level of explosion protection, both indoors and outdoors, and is equipped with a weapon system, which includes a turret equipped with a cannon and

Remote Weapons Station (RWS). The optical system for weaponry is provided by the Elbit company. The turret seamlessly integrates the latest sensors, weapons and active protection systems - all designed from the ground up, without any subsequent additions or modifications. The optical system is equipped with laser sensors that detect in time any danger hidden in the terrain, on the battlefield. The Iron Fist active protection system was successfully tested in late 2020, and SPIKE LR2 missiles were successfully launched from a Redback vehicle in early 2021. Redback's rubber tracks and associated engineering reduce noise and vibration, providing at the same time superior quality for crew and soldiers. The Redback features a highly advanced armored vehicle suspension system that has no torsion bars, allowing more room for innovative and effective blast mitigation systems. Finally, I would like to reiterate that Redback offers the highest degree of protection available globally at the moment for the personnel who serve it

Reporter: Thank you!