Soucy’s Composite Rubber Track system will be fitted to the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle produced by Hanwha Defense under an agreement signed today.
The Redback is under consideration by the Commonwealth under an ongoing tender process for Project LAND 400 Phase 3, which is an $18 billion to $27 billion project tasked to acquire 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.
Soucy’s Composite Rubber Track (CRT) offers many advantages over conventional metal track designs including up to 70% less vibration, up to 13.5 decibels of noise reduction, less weight, better manoeuvrability, up to 80% less maintenance, and better efficiency that enables higher top vehicle speeds or fuel savings of up to 30%.
Should the Redback be selected, this arrangement will see 50% of Soucy’s CRT technology transferred to Hanwha Defense Australia to enable local manufacture of track mechanical components such as road wheels and idlers to be sub-licensed to Australian industry. This work is likely to be awarded to one or more small to medium sized companies following the completion of an ongoing market testing activity.
Soucy International recently won a contract to deliver prototype CRT systems to the U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Centre where they will be used during experimentation of manned and unmanned Next Generation Combat Vehicle platforms.
The AS21 Redback was shortlisted along with Rheinmetall Defence’s Lynx KF4 for the Land 400 Phase 3 programme.
In a statement, the company announced that, “The rollout is [notable because] Hanwha Defense completed the design, production, and verification of the RMA vehicles on time, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Redback – which is derived from the Republic of Korea Army’s amphibious K21 IFV – was shortlisted as a bidder for the contract alongside Rheinmetall Defence’s Lynx KF41 IFV in September 2019.
The Australian government is expected to select a preferred tenderer by 2022, with initial operating capability of the selected platform expected between 2024 and 2025.
Hanwha Defense has selected the Australian-made T2000 30 mm manned turret developed by the Canberra-based EOS Defence Systems in partnership with Israel’s Elbit Systems. The turret is understood to combine the electric drive of the Elbit MT30 MK2 30 mm unmanned weapon station and its fire control system (FCS) with EOS Defence’s sensors and user interface.
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