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Hanwha Systems Corporation (HSC) and Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA), Korea’s two leading defense companies, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based OneWeb to explore the joint provision of connectivity services to the Australian defence market. Their initial target is Project LAND 4140, which will link satellite communications (SATCOM) systems with ground communication networks.
At the Farnborough International Airshow, Hanwha Systems’ CEO, Mr Sungchul Eoh, announced that the company had signed a three-party MoU with Hanwha Defense Australia and OneWeb to discuss their potential participation in “Australian Military Satellite Internet Business.”
The MOU will facilitate discussions between the three companies regarding how they may combine their key capabilities to meet competitive requirements for Australian Military Satellite Tactical Internet Program.
“We are happy to be working with our sister company HSC and with OneWeb to explore opportunities to expand our Australian footprint into the space domain. Hanwha Defense Australia Managing Director Richard Cho said, “This is an important growth area for us.”
The partners’ respective capabilities are:
• HSC’s vehicle type satellite communication terminal solutions and system integration
• HDA’s K9 self-propelled howitzer and Redback armoured vehicle platforms and other Australian projects
• OneWeb’s LEO satellite connectivity services.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Hanwha to utilise our satellite connectivity solutions in the Australian defense market,” said Mr Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb. “We know firsthand how Hanwha’s high-quality technological thinking and development complements the capabilities of OneWeb’s LEO network, ensuring customers worldwide benefit from improved connectivity.”
By combining OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite connectivity services and HSC’s satellite communication antenna, currently under development through a self-funded scheme, HSC is aiming to provide satellite internet solutions for the Australian military customers’ platforms.
HSC and HDA are leveraging HSC’s solid track record of high performance C4I system programs for the Korean forces to respond to the Project LAND 4140 Request for Information (RFI), a multi-layered communications program that will link satellite communication with ground communication networks.
In August last year, HSC invested US$300 million in OneWeb. Prior to this, in June 2020, HSC also acquired Phasor Solutions, a UK-based satellite communication antenna developer, and incorporated Hanwha Phasor in an effort to secure satellite communication antenna technologies required to connect several thousands of satellites and ground stations. Hanwha Phasor is now concentrating on the development of next generation antenna designs and developments.
In December 2020, HSC has also invested some made a US $41 million in Kymeta, a leading ESA company in the US, to collaborate in satellite antenna development for local and offshore markets.
OneWeb is currently scaling up its global satellite constellation with the aim of delivering low latency, and high-speed connectivity services worldwide. 428 satellites have already been deployed, representing almost 70% of the network. The company has initiated services in the Arctic region and is working to expand its capabilities in the coming years to bring coverage for the Australian military and other global markets.