Army to test-run Redback armored vehicle under export support program

SEOUL-- South Korea's military plans to start test-running a homegrown armored vehicle next month as part of a program to support local firms' defense exports, the state arms procurement agency said Wednesday.

From April to May, the Army's 11th Maneuver Division is set to conduct the test of the Redback vehicle that has been in a competition to join Australia's defense project, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

The Redback is an upgraded version of the K-21 vehicle developed by the South Korean manufacturer Hanwha Defense Co. It is designed to meet the operational requirements of the Australian Army.

Throughout the test, the South Korean Army plans to check the field performance of the Redback, including its operability under different environments, and share test results with Australian authorities.

The Army will conduct the test with one of three prototypes that were tested in Australia as part of the competition last year.

Canberra is expected to select the winner of its project this year, officials here said.

The 42-ton Redback can carry 11 people with a maximum speed of 65 kph. 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.

Source: Yonhap News Agency