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South Korea to Invest $21M in Laser Weapons Upgrade

South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development has selected explosives and infrastructure provider Hanwha Group to develop an oscillator, a device that helps laser weapons target drones flying several miles away.

Hanwha said it will apply advanced laser light source technology in developing such military equipment. The company has conducted several studies of high-power laser light sources and laser-based sensor systems.

“We will contribute to the military deployment of future weapons through continuous research and development on high-power laser technology and prepare mid-to-long-term growth engines,” a Hanwha official said.

The Korean company disclosed that the project would cost around 24.3 billion won ($21.9 million) and is projected to be completed in four years.

Developing More Technologies for Military

South Korea’s push to improve its laser weapons capabilities is a defensive measure against space-based nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

In addition to upgrading its laser weapons, the nation is bolstering its surveillance capabilities, recently signing a contract to procure low-noise hydrogen fuel cell drones.

“The rapid pilot acquisition project contributes to the development of advanced technology and military use by rapidly applying private new technologies to the military for the past year and inducing private investments by private companies,” Defense Acquisition Program Administration official Ho-cheon Choi said.

South Korean Army Chief of Staff Gen. Nam Yeong-shin also said in April that the army is accelerating efforts to deploy a drone robot-based combat system to adapt to new battle environments.

The country’s armed forces are also planning to establish a division responsible for drone weapon infrastructure, systems, and training.

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