The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has awarded contracts to homegrown defence primes Hanwha Systems and LIG Nex1 to supply ground-based communication terminals linked to the ANASIS-II (Army Navy Air Force Satellite Information System-II) military communications satellite.
The two companies are expected to manufacture eight different ground-fixed and vehicle-based communication devices that will operate jointly with ANASIS-II – which launched into space in July 2020 – under two separate contracts, which are valued at US$742 million and will run through 2025.
DAPA noted that the ground-based terminals will enhance the ANASIS-II system while boosting the development of South Korea’s indigenous space industry with 96% local content. The agency said 48 local companies specialising in antenna devices, modems, and software for signal reception and transmission are contributing to the programme.
The mass production of ground-based terminals, which was first approved by DAPA in April 2021, will see South Korea fielding a military communications network that provides “significantly improved performance” in transmission capacity and can maintain secure and continuous communications despite enemy-jamming attacks.
Hanwha Systems earlier said in September 2021 that it will establish a network control system as well as manufacture portable ground terminals compatible with the ANASIS-II satellite, while LIG Nex1 disclosed that it will manufacture new terminals that will provide increased datalink transmission performance as well as security.
DAPA earlier announced that the government plans to invest US$13.5 billion over 10 years to boost the development of indigenous defence-related space technologies and reduce the country’s reliance on US reconnaissance assets.
At that time, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) also announced that the country will indigenously develop and operate a new Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) from Naro Space Center in Goheung County from 2024.
The facility is operated by the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and is located around 485 km from Seoul. The announcement comes after the MND’s Agency of Defense Development (ADD) revealed that it had carried out successful combustion trials of a new solid-propellant rocket engine.
The planned SLV will be used to launch reconnaissance micro-satellites into low Earth orbit to provide early warning against “anomalies in the detection area” – understood to be missile launches from North Korea and other significant military activity.
by Jr Ng