The Redback armored vehicle displays maneuverability in the field

SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — A South Korean-made armored personnel carrier navigated through puddles, traversed unpaved roads and smoothly changed course in its first demonstration of local capability open to the press on a army training site.

The manufacturer, Hanwha Defense, hosted the event highlighting the maneuverability of the Redback – the vehicle designed to meet the operational needs of the Australian Army – at the 11th Maneuver Division in Hongcheon, 102 kilometers east of Seoul, Friday.

The Redback entered a competition to join the Australian Army’s high-profile supply project, called Land 400 Phase 3. Canberra is expected to announce the winner of the project this fall, according to officials here.

Some 80 people, including journalists and officials from the Korean military and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), as well as foreign defense attachés, attended the protest.

It involved troops from the Army Division testing the vehicle as part of a program to support local companies’ defense exports and efforts to break into overseas markets.

The Redback carrying the troops rolled over rough and rough terrain, showing its great maneuverability. It then pivoted smoothly and demonstrated the movement of a turret. Troops were also seen boarding and dismounting.

This scene took place not only in front of rolling cameras and a media crew, but also in front of potential domestic and foreign buyers.

“Through our military’s trial operation of the export-designed weapon system, we plan to provide our operational data, including that of its up-to-date capabilities and reliability, and will actively support its export.” , said Brig. Gen. Cho Hyun-ki, director general of DAPA’s maneuver program department, said.

Cho added that the South Korean government can “positively” consider introducing a Redback that meets its military’s operational needs – remarks that raised the possibility of the Korean military deploying it.

Hanwha Defense is also looking to enter the US and European markets.

Hanwha Defense USA, a division of Hanwha Defense, is participating in a consortium to compete for the design phase of the U.S. Army’s Optionally Piloted Fighting Vehicles (OMFV) program. The consortium is looking to leverage the capabilities of Hanwha’s Redback chassis, officials said.

The 42 ton Redback can carry 11 people with a top speed of 65 km/h. It is equipped with the Mk44 Bushmaster II, a 30 mm chain gun, Spike, an Israeli anti-tank guided missile and a 7.62 mm machine gun.

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