The three parties entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore future participation in the Australian military satellite internet business.
The MoU, which was signed during the UK’s Farnborough International Airshow, is designed to facilitate communication between the three parties for provision of connectivity services to the Australian defence market.
Particularly, it is hoped that the MoU will identify how the companies can combine their core capabilities to achieve the competitiveness required for Australian Military Satellite Tactical Internet Program participation.
As outlined in a release from Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA), the companies have identified leveraging:
- Hanwha Systems Corporation’s (HSC) vehicle-type satellite communication terminal solutions and system integration;
- HDA’s K9 self-propelled howitzer and Redback armoured vehicle platforms and local marketing activities in Australia based on the ground knowledge of the customer; and
- OneWeb’s LEO satellite connectivity services.
According to the company, the parties are looking to develop a satellite internet solution by integrating OneWeb’s high-speed, low latency, low-Earth orbit satellite connectivity services with HSC’s satellite communications antenna which is currently under development.
The MoU follows significant advances in communications capabilities by HSC and HDA.
It was revealed that both HSC and HDA responded to the Australian government’s LAND 4140 Request for Information, designed to develop a multi-layered communications program for defence. This is expected to leverage HSC’s track record in delivery C4I programs for South Korean forces.
HSC further acquired Phasor Solutions in 2020, a UK-based satellite communication antenna developer, which now focuses on developing next generation antennas as Hanwha Phasor.
HSC has also invested significantly in developing the industry, including a $300 million investment in OneWeb in August 2021.
In 2020, HSC also invested $30 million in Kymeta, an electronically steered antennas company, with an additional $11 million investment in March, forming a strategic partnership between both companies.
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“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,” Richard Cho, managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia, said.
“This is an important growth area for us.”
The announcement comes as OneWeb scales up its satellite constellation, with 428 satellites already deployed.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Hanwha to utilise our satellite connectivity solutions in the Australian defense market. 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,” Neil Masterson, chief executive officer of OneWeb, continued.
According to Songchul Eoh, chief executive officer of Hanwha Systems, the collaboration is expected to broaden the technological capabilities of the partners.
“We have high hopes on this MoU, which will give us greater opportunities to bring tangible outcomes together, already having made significant investments in this technology area,” Eoh said.
“Going forward, we will cooperate with various companies with competitive technologies, at home and abroad, in order to strength our position in the global market, particularly to approach such countries as Saudi Arabia and Poland, who require satellite internet.”