Redback IFV tests Israeli Spike ATGM and fire control system
SEOUL, ($1=1,199.33 South Korean Wons) — The AS-21 Redback IFV is South Korea’s newest combat vehicle but is still being tested. Some of these tests include the integration, use, and evaluation of Israeli weapons systems.
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BulgarianMilitary.com has learned from Israeli sources that the Korean manufacturer of the AS-21 Redback IFV Hanwha Defense has begun field fire tests on its armored vehicle with Rafael’s Spike anti-tank guided missiles [ATGM] and the Elbit’s fire control system. The information states that these tests are necessary before the first order of the AS-21 Redback IFV, which will most likely be from the South Korean government.
The fire control system, which is being tested by the South Koreans, includes, in addition to the turret of the armored vehicle, also the integration of an IronVision helmet, which has a direct connection with the weapon system. Such helmets are used by the Israelis in the management of their Merkava Mark IV tanks.
In addition to these two components, the AS-21 Redback IFV also tests the Iron Fist active protection system. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that the US-made armored vehicles Bradley and the Israeli Eitan are equipped with such active protection, which in recent years has been proven in dozens of military operations of the US and Israeli armies in the Middle East [Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza].
The South Koreans have decided to trust one of the best anti-tank missile systems with guided missiles in the world, namely the Spike of the Israeli company Rafael. According to various sources, the estimated cost of equipping an AS-21 Redback IFV with Elbit’s weapons mix is about $ 2 million, while each Spike missile is approximately $ 200,000.
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that On February 19, Seoul has announced that Redback will now use steel from Australian manufacturer Bisalloy Steels Group. A memorandum of understanding [MoU] has already been signed between the two companies.
What is ahead is for the two companies to develop a technical analysis and methodology for steel integration. Hanwha Defense wants the new supplier to provide not only steel for Redback [IFV] but also for the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer. Hanwha Defense says the two armored vehicles for the ground forces will be offered for export with the new steel.
Hanwha Defense and Bisalloy see an opportunity to make critical deliveries in a time of pandemic conditions. MoU will help both companies build a secondary supply chain as Hanwha Defense significantly expands the market for its K9 howitzer. “We will explore ways to use Bisally Steel further for the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer, as well as the Redback IFV” Mr. Son Jae-il, CEO and President of Hanwha Defense said. “Upon the recent contract with Egypt over the K9, in particular, we will review ways to utilize the Australian steel for the K9A1EGY project first.”
AS-21 Redback IFV
Information on the South Korean infantry’s new armored combat vehicle is still scarce. However, it is assumed that the AS-21 Redback IFV will be of the fifth generation, will have integrated composite rubber tracks and an In-arm suspension unit [ISU]. Composite rubber tracks are an effective sound insulator, ie. both noise and vibration are expected to be reduced while driving the vehicle. The in-arm suspension unit is expected to ensure better protection of transported soldiers in the event of an explosion from below, as this system allows the integration of additional armor.
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