South Korean defense major Hanwha announced it has signed an agreement with the US military for collaborative research and development of key defense items and technologies.
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 entity to work with academia, industry, and other non-government entities on research and development.
According to Hanwha, this is the first time that any South Korean defense company has entered into this type of agreement with the US Army.
“This is a historic and exciting opportunity,” said retired US Army Lieutenant General Bernard Champoux, head of Hanwha’s US defense operations. “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. The South Korean company said 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 CRADA comes on the heels of Hanwha’s recent success in Australia’s high-profile army modernization programs, including LAND 400 and LAND 8116. The Hanwha Defense Redback next-generation infantry fighting vehicle has been shortlisted, while the K9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzer has been nominated as the preferred system.