OneWeb and Hanwha partner to tap Australia’s military broadband market

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SEOUL, South Korea — OneWeb and two subsidiaries of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group have partnered to explore the joint provision of connectivity services to the Australian defense market.

U.K.-based satellite broadband operator OneWeb signed a memorandum of understanding with Hanwha Group’s Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Defense Australia units July 19 at the Farnborough International Airshow, England.

Under the deal, the three companies will discuss how they would combine capabilities to better compete for contracts under the Australian Military Satellite Tactical Internet Program.

Hanwha said its two units had already responded to the Australian military’s request for information for the Land 4140 Tranche 1 program, a multi-layered communications program that will link satellite communication with ground communication networks. 

Hanwha expects that forming a partnership with OneWeb would put the consortium in a better position to make a deal.

According to OneWeb’s July 20 statement, the company will contribute with its satellite broadband services; Hanwha Systems with vehicle type satellite communication terminal solutions and system integration; and Hanwha Defense Australia with a local marketing network. 

Hanwha Defense Australia is a local branch of South Korea-based Hanwha Defense that has provided self-propelled howitzers and armored vehicles to the Australian military. 

Hanwha Systems holds an 8.8% stake in OneWeb, which it bought in August 2021 for $300 million. The company has ramped up its antenna-making capabilities by acquiring British antenna maker Phasor Solutions in June 2020 and making a strategic investment in American antenna-maker Kymeta.