On Tuesday, the South Korean defense contractor Hanwha announced that it had signed an important agreement with the US military on the joint research and development of essential defense equipment and technologies.
According to a company press release, the Research and Development Cooperation Agreement (CRADA) was signed by the Armaments Center of the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM AC) and Hanwha’s two defense companies, Hanwha Corporation and Hanwha Defense.
CRADA is a collaborative mechanism that enables a US government activity to collaborate with academia, industry and other non-governmental organizations in research and development. Hanwha is the first Korean company to sign such an agreement with the US Army.
“This is a historic and exciting opportunity,” said retired Lieutenant General Bernard Champoux, head of US defense operations in Hanwha. Champoux had served as the commander of the US 8th Army. “It not only recognizes the quality of the Republic of Korea’s growing defense sector, but also further strengthens bilateral ties between the US and the Republic of Korea and the Alliance.”
The agreement resulted from the visit of a high-ranking delegation from DEVCOM AC to South Korea in November 2019 for talks with Hanwha. Both parties shared an interest in joint capability development for the US and other international military markets with potential commercial spin-off applications.
Under the agreement, Hanwha and DEVCOM AC will conduct research and development of defense equipment and technologies through the sharing of resources, technical expertise and intellectual property. The results of their joint projects will help significantly meet the needs of both countries for next-generation weapons and ammunition solutions.
For Hanwha, this deal is another step in demonstrating its commitment to US defense actors and the US economy by facilitating the transfer of technologies that can be incorporated into the American industrial base.
The CRADA follows Hanwha’s recent success in Australia’s high-profile army modernization programs, including LAND 400 and LAND 8116, which have shortlisted the Hanwha Defense-built redback infantry combat vehicle and the K9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzer or were nominated as preferred systems.
Hanwha Corporation has its foundation in the development and production of energy with 68 years of experience. The company is known for its modernized production of explosive fuels and advanced precision-guided ammunition for the Republic of Korea and numerous allied nations.