The recent announcement of AKBC member Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) as the preferred supplier of the LAND8116 defence contract presents opportunities for future Australia-Korea defence industry cooperation.
Tom Corben, resident Vasey Fellow with the Pacific Forum, argues that developing and producing sonobuoys, which locate and track submarines, is an emerging opportunity for defence and scientific cooperation.
The sonobuoy supply chain is under stress, potentially weakening countries’ anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. As such, cooperation on diversifying sonobuoy supply has common strategic significance for Australia and Korea.
Both countries already participate in joint ASW exercises and will use the same model of ASW aircraft in the coming years. Further, Hanwha Systems is interested in developing their own sonobuoy technologies.
Korea’s manufacturing might, combined with Australia’s previous experience in developing sonobuoys, suggests that the Australia-Korea relationship is well-positioned to address the supply chain challenges.
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