able logo

Two well-known Victorian companies, Mackay Consolidated Industries and Able Industries Engineering, are joining Team Redback to manufacture components for the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle’s innovative composite rubber track system should it be selected for service in the Australian Defence Force.

The Redback is under consideration by the Commonwealth under an ongoing tender process for Project LAND 400 Phase 3, which is an $18 billion to $27 billion project tasked to acquire up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

The Redback’s composite rubber track, designed by the Soucy Group of Canada, offers many advantages over conventional metal track designs including up to 70 per cent less vibration, up to 13.5 decibels of noise reduction, less weight, better manoeuvrability, up to 80 per cent less maintenance, and better efficiency that enables higher top vehicle speeds or fuel savings of up to 30 per cent.

Approximately fifty per cent of Soucy’s composite rubber track system would be produced in Victoria under an agreement with Hanwha Defense Australia which enables the company to sub-license local manufacture of road wheels and mechanical track components such as idlers and sprocket carriers.

Mackay Consolidated Industries, based in Dandenong, and Able Industries Engineering, based in South Kingsville, were successful in being down-selected following a recent competitive tender process undertaken by Hanwha Defense Australia. Each company will be allocated a share of the production of the assemblies based on the core strengths of their businesses.

The sub-licence arrangement offers further opportunities for Victorian SMEs in Hanwha’s global supply chain as it has the potential to be expanded to include Redback programs in South Korea and other nations in the future.

“Having two additional local Victorian companies join Team Redback is particularly satisfying,” said Mr Richard Cho, the Managing Director of Hanwha Defense Australia. “Soucy’s composite rubber track is a highly innovative product that offers significant advantages and we are enormously pleased to be working with local companies like Mackay and Able Industries Engineering to manufacture a significant proportion of the system in Australia.

“It is very much in keeping with Hanwha’s overall AIC strategy to deliver to our customer the best technologies from Australia and around the world,” Mr Cho said.

“Mackay is an experienced supplier in the defence sector with many long-standing customer relationships in Australia and abroad,” said Mr Graham Scull, the Managing Director of Mackay Consolidated Industries. “But there is much to be said for starting a new relationship with an energetic entrant to the Australian market such as Hanwha. I am looking forward to Mackay working successfully with Hanwha for a long time to come.”

“We are delighted to be joining Team Redback,” said Mr Stephen Martyn, the Managing Director of Able Industries Engineering. “It is a strong group of companies that comprise Team Redback and the technology involved is great - we are genuinely excited to be helping bring that to life and continue to build high quality defence related components locally here in Victoria.”
As part of Hanwha’s LAND 400 Phase 3 offer, Soucy will supply the balance of the composite rubber track and provide support to the Hanwha team who will assemble and fit the complete system to the Redback vehicles at the new manufacturing facility which is to be constructed in the Greater Geelong area.

2022 10 news track announcement

L-R: Kevin Sloan, Director of BD for Soucy UK and APAC, Stephen Martyn, MD at Able Industries Engineering, Graham Scull, CEO of Mackay Consolidated Industries, Richard Cho, MD of Hanwha Defense Australia with Redback IFV at Land Forces 2022 conference in Brisbane.