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Hanwha Defense targets exports from new Australian facility

Hanwha Defense has confirmed plans to position its new Australian facility as a base to support export opportunities in markets including the United Kingdom and the United States.

The company told Janes on 1 March that while its planned Hanwha Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) facility near Melbourne will initially be focused on meeting local requirements, it will also operate as an “adjunct” on wider defence opportunities.

The H-ACE facility is linked primarily with Hanwha Defense Australia's (HDA's) programme to build ‘Huntsman' vehicles – constituting AS9 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and AS10 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles (AARVs) – for the Australian Army.

However, a spokesperson for Hanwha Defense said H-ACE is envisaged – and has been designed – as a facility to support several projects. Construction of the facility will start this year. It is scheduled to be operational by 2024.

“The H-ACE has not just been designed to cater for a single project,” said the spokesperson. “But rather to be the centre for tracked vehicles manufacturing and support in Australia, and as an adjunct to the Hanwha Defense corporation's longer-term strategic goals to [enhance] supply chain stability and reliability for both [South Korea] and Australia.”

The spokesperson added, “The facility, as a consequence, will be able to satisfy the future demands of export opportunities as these arise.”

The spokesperson said that specific target markets of the business include those identified as the ‘Five Eyes' of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

“HDA was not established to just win programmes with the Australian Defence Force (ADF), but rather [as a] pathway to regional opportunities and a gateway into the broader Five Eyes markets,” said the spokesperson.

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