GROWING IN STATURE
Geopolitics|January 2022
Hanwha Defence is gaining a growing share of the global defence market for land systems

South Korean defence firm Hanwha Defence is emerging as a major player in the global land systems systems market, market, fast making inroads into important defence markets. “Aiming to become one of the top land systems developers in the world, Hanwha Defence puts a top priority on developing sophisticated technology to provide global-leading defense solutions," said Son Jae-il, President & CEO of Hanwha Defence. “Aligned with the South Korean Government's 'K-Defence Globalization Strategy, we will accelerate efforts to further expand the footprint of South Korea's advanced defence equipment in the global defense market."

Amongst its most well-known export offerings is the 155mm/52 caliber K9 Thunder, Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH). The K9 modified for India is known as the 'Vajra-T' with 100 systems inducted into the Indian Army and deployed on both its western and eastern borders. The 155mm/52-calibre K9 Thunder is the world's best-selling SPH and nearly 1,700 artillery pieces are in service with South Korea, Turkey, Poland, Finland, Norway, India, Estonia and Australia. The US$1 billion Australian contract for new K9 artillery pieces is a major export success for Hanwha Defence. The Korean built self-propelled howitzer has proven its capabil in a range of environments, from deserts to snowy fields, and it is being exported to overseas countries.

Growing Portfolio

In addition to highly successful artillery systems such as the K9 SPH, Hanwha Defence also produces armoured vehicles, air defence systems and Unmanned Ground Systems (UGV). The South Korean firm has successfully developed the 'Redback' fifth generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and is also developing increasingly futuristic UGVs. The Redback next-generation IFV is presently competing for the Australian Army's LAND 400 Phase 3 programme and was shortlisted as one of two finalists in 2019. Australia has a requirement for nearly 450 new tracked armored vehicles. The new IFVs will replace the Australian Army's M113 armoured personnel carriers, which it acquired from the USA.

Hanwha Defence has incorporated a range of state-of-the-art technologies, including composite rubber tracks, an advanced In-arm Suspension Unit that dispenses with torsion barks allowing more space for effective blast mitigation, and Iron Vision see-through helmet-mounted display technology. Iron Vision effectively allows the crew to see through the vehicle's armour by projecting the image outside the vehicle onto their helmet-mounted displays. Redback's rubber tracks offers superior ride quality for its crews and soldiers within the vehicle and reduces noise and vibration.

Hanwha Defence has also signed an agreement with Oshkosh Defence for the digital design phase of the US Army's next generation combat vehicle programme. The Oshkosh-Hanwha team is one of the five contenders for the Concept Design Phase of the US Army's Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program tasked to replace the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The Oshkosh-Hanwha team will offer an up-to-date OMFV design based on the chassis of the Redback IFV developed by Hanwha Defence. The Oshkosh Defence consortium also includes Pratt Miller, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, QinetiQ Inc., and Plasan. The OMFV programme aims to replace some 3,500 M2 Bradley vehicles that have been service since 1981.

Unmanned Ground Systems

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