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Hanwha signs joint defence research pact with US

Hanwha Defence Australia’s K9 Huntsman; the company’s parent has signed a CRADA with the US Army’s DEVCOM AC. Photo: Hanwha Defence Australia

South Korean defence group Hanwha has signed a major agreement with the US military on collaborative R&D of key defence items and technologies. The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was signed on 10 December by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC) and Hanwha’s two defence business affiliates, Hanwha Corporation and Hanwha Defence.

Hanwha is the first Korean company to enter into this type of agreement with the US Army.

The agreement came as a result of the visit by a senior delegation from DEVCOM AC to South Korea in November 2019 for discussions with Hanwha. Both parties shared their interest in jointly developing capabilities for the US and other international military markets, with potential commercial spin-off applications.

Under the agreement framework, Hanwha and DEVCOM AC will undertake R&D in defence equipment and technologies through exchange of resources, technical expertise and Intellectual Property (IP). The outcomes of their joint projects will serve to greatly assist both countries’ needs for next-generation weapon and ammunition solutions.

“This is a historic and exciting opportunity,” said retired US Army Lieutenant General Bernard Champoux, head of Hanwha’s US defence operations. “It not only acknowledges the quality of the Republic of Korea’s growing defence sector, but also further strengthens the bilateral US-ROK relationship and the alliance.”

For Hanwha, this agreement is yet another step in demonstrating its commitment to US defence stakeholders and the US economy by facilitating transfer of technologies that can be incorporated into the American industrial base. The CRADA comes on the heels of Hanwha’s recent success in Australia’s high-profile army modernisation programs, including LAND 400 and LAND 8116, for which Hanwha Defence’s Redback Next-Generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle and K9 Huntsman Self-Propelled Howitzer have been either shortlisted or nominated as preferred systems.

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