Friday, January 22, 2021

U.S. military signs joint defense research pact with Hanwha

On Tuesday, South Korean defense contractor Hanwha has announced that it signed a major agreement with the U.S. military on collaborative research and development of key defense items and technologies.

According to a company news release, the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was signed by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC) and Hanwha’s two defense business affiliates _ Hanwha Corporation and Hanwha Defense.

The CRADA is a cooperative mechanism that enables a US Government activity to work with academia, industry, and other non-government entities on research and development. Hanwha is the first Korean company to enter into this type of agreement with the US Army.

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“This is a historic and exciting opportunity,” said Retired US Army Lieutenant General Bernard Champoux, head of Hanwha’s US defense operations. Champoux had served as commander of the 8th US Army. “It not only acknowledges the quality of the Republic of Korea’s growing defense sector, but also further strengthens the bilateral US-ROK relationship and the Alliance.”

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 conduct research and development of defense equipment and technologies through exchange of resources, technical expertise and intellectual properties. The outcomes of their joint projects will serve to greatly assist both countries’ needs for next-generation weapon and ammunition solutions.

Delegates from DEVCOM AC pose with officials of Hanwha Corporation while visiting Hanwha’s facility in Yeosu in November 2019.

For Hanwha, this agreement is yet another step in demonstrating its commitment to US defense 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 modernization programs, including LAND 400 and LAND 8116, for which Hanwha Defense-built Redback Next-Generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle and K9 Huntsman Self-Propelled Howitzer have been either shortlisted or nominated as preferred systems.

Hanwha Corporation has its foundation in the development and production of energetics with 68 years of accumulated expertise. The company is recognized for its modernized production of explosives propellants, and advanced precision guided munitions for the Republic of Korea and numerous allied nations.

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Gu Min-Cheol
Gu Min-Chul is a defense reporter, covering the Korean defense industrial base and all related issues.

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