South Korea-based Hanwha Defense Systems is offering an evolved version of its K21 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) serving the modern South Korean Army to satisfy the Australian Army's LAND 400 requirement. LAND 400 program seeks a direct replacement for the in-service wheeled AuStralian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) and tracked M113 (M113AS4) Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) fleets. Four distinct phases make up the program - Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4 covering the Project Definition Study (PDS), the Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability, the Mounted Close-Combat Capability, and Integrated Training System components, respectively. The Australian model is being designated AS21 "Redback", named after a local Australian spider species.
The AS21 was debuted at the 2018 Ground Forces exhibition, revealing a traditional track-and-wheel drive arrangement involving six double-tired road wheels to a hull side. The hull itself has slab sides with armored skirts protecting the upper reaches of the track run. The glacis plate is shallow and well sloped towards the turret roof. Atop the turret sits a complete traversable turret with an unobstructed 360-degree reach. An Active Protection System (APS) will be added at a later date to automatically protect against inbound missile and rocket threats. Crew and systems survivability have been enhanced over the original K21's scheme. Beyond the typical operating crew of three - driver, commander, and gunner - there is space for up to eight combat-ready infantrymen.
Armament is a 40mm autocannon and a single 7.62mm coaxial machine gun - both fitted to the turret. Up to ten (five to a side) smoke grenade dischargers will be available for self-screening the vehicle as needed.
With an assumed turbocharged diesel-fueled engine serving as its powerpack, the vehicle has an estimated road speed of 70 kmh (this falls to 40 kmh when going cross-country) and an operational range nearing 500 kilometers.