Hanwha Systems Corporation (HSC) and Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA), two leading defense companies in South Korea, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with OneWeb to explore the joint provision of connectivity services to the Australian Defence Market.
At the Farnborough International Airshow, Hanwha Systems 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.
Their respective capabilities are:
- OneWeb’s LEO satellite connectivity services
- HSC’s vehicle type satellite communication terminal solutions and system integration
- HDA’s K9 self-propelled howitzer and Redback armored vehicle platforms, etc. and local marketing activities in Australia, thanks to on-the-ground knowledge of the customers
By combining OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency, LEO satellite connectivity services and HSC’s satellite communication antenna, currently under development through a self-funded project, HSC is aiming to provide satellite internet solutions for the Australian military customers’ platforms.
By leveraging HSC’s solid track record of high performance, C4I system programs for the Korean forces, HSC/HDA have responded to Land 4140 Request for Information (RFI), a multi-layered communications program that will link satellite communication with ground communication networks.
In August of last year, HSC invested $300 million in OneWeb. Prior to this, in June of 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 of 2020, HSC had made a $30 million investment in Kymeta, a leading ESA company in the U.S., which was followed by an additional investment in March this year worth $11 million, forming a strategic partnership with Kymeta. HSC and Kymeta are collaborating for satellite antenna development and working on developing 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 nearly 70% of the company’s 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.
This announcement builds on Hanwha’s existing investment in OneWeb, made last year, and provides OneWeb with access to new government customers and expanded geographical reach.
“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,” said Hanwha Defense Australia Managing Director, Richard Cho. “This is an important growth area for us.”
Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said, “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.”
Mr. Sungchul Eoh, CEO of Hanwha Systems, said, “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. 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.”