Hanwha Defense starts construction on new armoured vehicle centre of excellence in Victoria

14 Apr 2022

On 8 April 2022, Hanwha Defense Australia started construction on a new Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Avalon, Victoria. The occasion was marked by a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Hanwha Defense CEO Son Jae-il, Hanwha Defence Australia Managing Director Richard Cho, defence industry representatives, and officials from Korea and Australia.

The centre is part of a A$1 billion defence contract awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia in December 2021. It will be the first major manufacturing base for a South Korean defence company.

The centre is expected to create 300 jobs in design, engineering, manufacturing and corporate support over the life of the project.

State-of-the-facility to manufacture defence vehicles

Hanwha Defense Australia is a subsidiary of Hanwha Corporation, South Korea’s largest defence company. It was formed in 2019 and is headquartered in Melbourne.

Hanwha Defense Australia will manufacture 30 self-propelled howitzers and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles at the centre of excellence.

The 32,000-sqm centre will be built at Avalon Airport in Greater Geelong. The A$170 million, two-year construction will create around 100 jobs.

The facility will include:

  • multiple assembly lines
  • a 1,500-metre test track
  • a deep-water test facility
  • an R&D centre
  • an obstacle course to test capability.

There is an opportunity for Australian defence industry partners to co-locate on site to streamline the manufacturing process.

How Austrade helped

Austrade has supported Hanwha Defense Australia intensively since 2017. The agency has:

  • shared information on Australia’s defence procurement tender process, manufacturing capabilities and prospective site locations
  • provided introductions to local Australian suppliers and R&D partners
  • supported site visits in Australia
  • facilitated meetings with state and territory governments.

Austrade is seeking opportunities for Australian businesses to participate in Hanwha’s global value chain. The agency will also work to facilitate exports of Australian products and services to Korea, and other international markets.

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