Hanwha Group exhibits its latest defense technology and equipment during the 2019 Association of the United States Army. Photo courtesy of Hanwha Group

Korea’s leading defense group will collaborate with US military

Hanwha Group has struck an agreement with the U.S. military on collaborative research and development of key defense items and technologies.

The Seoul-based group announced on Dec. 16 that it had signed the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) last week.

Two Hanwha affiliates _ Hanwha Corporation and Hanwha Defense _ and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC) took part in the deal.

The CRADA is a cooperative mechanism that enables a U.S. government activity to work with academia, industry, and other non-government entities on research.

Under the agreement, both parties will conduct research of defense equipment and technologies through the exchange of resources, technical expertise, and intellectual properties.

Hanwha is the first Korean outfit to enter into this type of agreement with the US Army, according to the group.

“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 bilateral 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.

The CRADA comes on the heels of Hanwha’s recent success in Australia’s high-profile army modernization programs.

For LAND 400 and LAND 8116, Hanwha Defense-built Redback Next-Generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle and K9 Huntsman Self-Propelled Howitzer have been either shortlisted or nominated as preferred systems.