South Korea’s Hanwha wins $7B Australian Defence contract for IFV manufacturing

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Image Credit: Hanwha Defense Australia

Hanwha Defense Australia has secured a $7 billion contract to deliver and support 129 locally built Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for the Australian Army. 

The Redback IFVs will be built at Hanwha Defense Australia’s Avalon facility in Greater Geelong, Victoria, where it will deliver hundreds of jobs to the local community. 

Over 90 Australian companies are expected to contribute to the local manufacturing of the Redback vehicles, providing a significant economic boost to the Australian defence industry and manufacturing capabilities. 

Independent analysis estimated that 2,100 people are expected to be hired during the peak of the project. This includes 1,800 direct roles. 

Australian Defence said the project marks the single largest investment in Army capability to date. 

“This is an important project for the Australian Army that will be delivered by highly skilled workers in Greater Geelong and other centres of Australian manufacturing,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles 

“This is a significant investment that will properly equip the Army so it can keep Australians safe. This is another part of our plan for a future built in Australia”.

In July 2023, the Australian government announced that it is accelerating the delivery of the Redback IFVs for the Australian Army, with the first vehicle slated for delivery in 2027 and the final vehicle expected in late 2028. 

This makes the delivery two years earlier than the original plan. 

The new infantry fighting vehicles will be operated by the 3rd Armoured Combat Brigade in Townsville. 

The acquisition is part of the Federal Government’s efforts to modernise the Australian Army to ensure it can respond to the most demanding land challenges in the region. 

The infantry vehicles are expected to be delivered at around the same time as the new HIMARS missile systems and Army Landing Craft. 

These acquisitions are aligned with recommendations in the Defence Strategic Review’s call for the Army to be transformed for littoral manoeuvre operations from Australia. 

“The Albanese Government is committed to investing in Australian defence industry so we can make the critical defence equipment we need in this country and develop our sovereign capability,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy. 

Hanwha Defense Australia is a Victoria-based subsidiary of Hanwha Aerospace, a leading defence company in South Korea.