Hanwha Defense Australia with Redback IFV to support US OMFV replacement program of Bradley IFV


According to information released by Hanwha Defense Australia on February 11, 2022, The Oshkosh Defense consortium, which includes Hanwha Defense USA, a division of Hanwha Defense Corporation based in South Korea, was recently selected to participate in the US Army's Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program Concept Design Phase. Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA), another division of Hanwha Defense Corporation, will also support the Oshkosh Defense OMFV consortium.
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South Korea AS21 Redback tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle. (Picture source Hanwha Defense)


The Oshkosh Defense OMFV concept leverages the proven capability of Hanwha's Redback chassis. The Redback is one of two contenders for Australia's Land 400 Phase 3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) requirement, which is expected to be awarded in 2022.

In June 2018, in part due to congressional concerns, the Army announced a new modernization strategy and designated the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) as the program to replace the M-2 Bradley. In October 2018, Army leadership decided to re-designate the NGCV as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) and to add additional vehicle programs to what would be called the NGCV Program

The M-2 Bradley, which has been in service since 1981, is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) used to transport infantry on the battlefield and provide fire support to dismounted troops and suppress or destroy enemy fighting vehicles. Updated numerous times since its introduction, the M-2 Bradley is widely considered to have reached the technological limits of its capacity to accommodate new electronics, armor, and defense systems.

Citing a U.S. Congress Report, On March 29, 2019, the U.S. Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP)45 to industry for the OMFV. The U.S. Army characterized its requirements as “aggressive” and noted industry might not be able to meet all requirements. Major requirements included the ability to transport two OMFVs in a C-17 aircraft which will likely require the vehicle to have the ability to accommodate add-on armor; a threshold (minimum) requirement for a 30 mm cannon and a second-generation forward-looking infra-red radar (FLIR); and objective (desired) requirements for a 50 mm cannon and a third-generation FLIR. By October 1, 2019, the industry was required to submit prototype vehicles to the U.S. Army for consideration and in the second quarter of FY2020, the Army planned to select two vendors to build 14 prototypes for further evaluation. 

Reportedly, the U.S. Army originally planned to award a production contract for up to 3,590 OMFVs to a single vendor. Although the Army reportedly expected five to seven vendors to compete for the OMFV EMD contract. 

The Oshkosh Defense OMFV concept leverages the proven capability of Hanwha's Redback chassis. The Redback is one of two contenders for Australia's Land 400 Phase 3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) requirement, which is expected to be awarded in 2022.

"While the OMFV and Land 400 requirements are different in some elements, many of the advanced capabilities could apply to both programs," said Richard Cho, Hanwha Defense Australia Managing Director. "Along with our Australian suppliers, we've learned a lot about the capabilities associated with a modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle. We look forward to working with Oshkosh Defense and Hanwha Defense USA and collectively leverage those insights as part of the OMFV program."

Hanwha Defense Australia will also deliver a Redback to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense to undergo a performance evaluation that will inform the Korean future Infantry Fighting Vehicle program.

The AS21 Redback is a new generation of tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) designed and developed by the South Korean company Hanwha Defense. The first prototype of the vehicle was unveiled in 2019 during the International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition in Seoul. The AS21 is one of the candidates for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 IFV program.

The AS21 Redback is based on a tracked chassis using composite rubber tracks. The vehicle has a weight of 42 tons and has a crew of three including commander, gunner, driver, and can carry 8 troops at the rear of the hull. The standard protection without any additional armor is STANAG 4569 Level 2. It can reach Level 6 with the additional armor to stop 30mm ammunition. 

The AS21 Redback is fitted with a manned turret EOS T-2000 which can be armed with a Bushmaster MK44S 30mm automatic cannon, one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and two launchers for anti-tank guided missile Spike. 


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