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“Strengthening the strategic alliance between Korea and the Australian weapons system”

Defense Minister Shin Won Sik visited a plant in Geelong

The minister visited the production site of the Australian version of the K9 self-propelled howitzer

The Redback project will deepen bilateral cooperation

“A symbolic case of a sustainability in defense industry cooperation”

Minister Shin discussed outstanding issues with Minister Richard Marles

On April 30, Defense Minister Shin Won Sik visited


On April 30, Defense Minister Shin Won Sik visited a self-propelled howitzer and Redback armored vehicle production facility in Geelong, Australia, where he and the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles inspected the production line and received a briefing from the managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia. 


On April 30 (local time), Defense Minister Shin Won Sik, who was in Australia to attend the Sixth ROK-Australia Foreign and Defense Ministers’ Meeting (2+2), visited the manufacturing plant of the AS9, the Australian version of the K9 self-propelled howitzer, and confirmed the improved position of the Korean defense industry there.


During the meeting with Australia’s Defense Minister, they also agreed to further strengthen defense and defense industry cooperation.


Minister Shin visited the Hanwha Armored Vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE), Hanwha Aerospace’s advanced armored vehicle manufacturing facility in Geelong, toured the construction site and production lines, and received a briefing from the managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia.


H-ACE consists of a 32,000 production facility, a test track, a test site and deep-water test facility, a firing range and an R&D center covering an area of 150,000. H-ACE will manufacture the AS9 and AS10, the Australian versions of the K9 self-propelled howitzer and K10 ammunition resupply vehicle operated by the ROK Army. The Australian Redback infantry fighting vehicle, for which Hanwha received an order in December, will be produced here.


The H-ACE’s self-propelled howitzer plant will be completed in July. In the first stage of a KRW 1 trillion self-propelled howitzer supply contract with Australia, 30 AS9s and 15 AS10s will be produced and delivered to the Australian Army by 2027. The expansion of the armored vehicle plant will be completed by June 2026 to manufacture 129 Redback units worth KRW 3.1649 trillion by 2028.


Minister Shin said, “The Australian production facility is a symbolic representation of the sustainable development of bilateral defense industry cooperation, and will enhance the interoperability of South Korean and Australian weapon systems and bilateral strategic solidarity, as well as strengthen the Australian Defense Force (ADF).”


The Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles, for whom Geelong is his home town and local electorate, said, “The completion of the facility will make a significant contribution to the local economy in Geelong, and attention must be given to ensure continued long-term cooperation.”


Minister Shin also exchanged views with Minister Marles on outstanding bilateral issues. The two ministers, who met for the first time in Korea last October, also agreed to work together to enhance bilateral relations in defense and defense-related industries.


In particular, they noted that defense industry cooperation between South Korea and Australia is deepening with last year's Redback project following the AS9 project in 2021.


Minister Shin said, “I look forward to having defense and defense industry cooperation leading industrial and technological development in both countries, and hope that South Korea’s excellent defense industry technology will contribute to the modernization of Australia’s military and that bilateral defense industry cooperation will continue to expand.”


Earlier in the day, Minister Shin visited the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) of the Australian Defense Ministry and met with the Head of Armored Vehicles, Major General Jason Blain, to hear explanations on the implementation of the AS9 and Redback projects and to encourage related officials there.

By Ah-Mi, Cho <>

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