Korean defence department awards USD21.8m counter drone contract to Hanwha Group

Korea’s Agency for Defense Development has awarded a 24.3 billion won (USD21.8 million) contract to Hanwha Group to develop laser beam counter drone weapons according to reports in The Korea Herald and UAS Vision.

Over the next four years, Hanwha will develop a prototype of an amplification device that magnifies the output and travel distance of laser beams, says the newspaper.

“Laser weapons can shoot down fast-flying objects at the speed of light. Based on 20 years of research into laser technologies, Hanwha also won Korea’s first-ever laser anti-air defense system project from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration in 2019,” a Hanwha official said.

In addition to the hardware development by Hanwha Group, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is also developing related software. KAERI is forming a consortium with 22 partners to co-develop the integrated anti-drone system.

The 42 billion-won project will see the development of a total anti-drone system that can detect, identify, analyse, neutralize and investigate illegal drones by 2025.

The program includes five public institutions including KAERI and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and 18 private anti-drone companies including LIG Nex1.

“Despite calls for establishing anti-drone technologies at key facilities, Korea currently lacks enough technology. Deploying imported equipment is both expensive and has security issues, so KAERI formed the consortium to develop independent technologies,” a KAERI official said.

The program will first apply the anti-drone system at nuclear facilities and airports.

(Image: Hanwha conceptual image of laser weapon, The Korea Herald)

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