After signing a contract for 288 K239 Chunmoo systems, Warsaw wants to buy more AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicles from Seoul.
Poland continues to expand relations with South Korea in the field of military equipment. After signing a contract for 288 K239 Chunmoo systems, Warsaw wants to buy more AS21 Redback infantry fighting vehicles from Seoul. According to Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, AS21 Redback can be an optimal choice to strengthen the army’s motorized infantry brigades.
According to Korean defense contractor Hanwha, the Redback demonstrated its lethality, mobility and survivability in Nowa Dęba, Poland, as part of a Polish Army test program. Accordingly, the Redback is one of the defense equipment that can be procured by the Polish Armed Forces under the Framework Contract, signed in July 2022. Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, many Eastern European countries have begun to strengthen their national security, including Poland. On October 19, Hanwha Defense Industry Corporation confirmed that Poland and South Korea had signed a contract for 288 K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery systems.
AS21 Redback is an upgraded version of the K-21 infantry fighting vehicle developed and designed by Korean corporation Hanwha, was specially designed to meet an Australian Army requirement. The first prototype was announced in 2021. The modern Redback features a range of futuristic and innovative technologies such as the Composite Rubber Track, Iron Fist Active Protection System, and Iron Vision helmet-mounted situation awareness system.
The AS21 Redback weighs 42 tons, is equipped with an 8-cylinder MTU diesel engine with a capacity of 1,000 horsepower, thanks to which it travels at a maximum speed of 65 km/h and a range of 520 km. It could be among the most protected IFVs in the world today. Hull and turret provide all-round protection from 30 mm armor-piercing rounds. It withstands blasts equivalent to 10 kg of TNT anywhere under the hull or under any track location. Crew and passengers are seated on blast energy absorbing seats.
AS21 Redback can overcome 0.7 m high vertical obstacles; Cross the trench 2 m wide. The armored vehicle is operated by a crew of 3 including the driver, commander and gunner. At the same time, it can carry 8 soldiers with full weapons. The main armament is an Mk44S Bushmaster II 30mm cannon capable of firing all natures of 30mm ammunition in service with 19 nations, including the US, the UK, and other allies and NATO forces.
The Redback was also designed from the start to be fitted with Israeli Elbit’s Iron Fist active protection system. It defeats incoming anti-tank rockets and missiles. There is a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, as well as remotely-controlled weapon station. It can be armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher.
There is a launcher with two Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missiles, which has a range of 5.5 km. It was estimated that this missiles penetrates more than 900 mm of steel armor behind explosive armor. That’s sufficient to defeat most of the main battle tanks. When not in use the launcher with missiles is retracted into the turret.
The vehicle is equipped with various sensors. It features an advanced Iron Vision situational awareness system with helmet slaved system which allows the crew to see through the armor. In theory, the Redback is really very powerful, completely meeting the requirements of the Polish army.