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Hanwha to Produce New South Korea Mine Detectors

Hanwha Systems has been awarded a 58 billion won ($48.9 million) contract to produce hand-held mine detectors for the South Korean military capable of locating both metal and non-metallic land mines.

The country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) ordered the company to deliver 1,600 PRS-20K mine detectors equipped with ground-penetrating radar and metal detector composite sensors.

According to DAPA, the domestically-built detectors feature improved detection depth and rate since all discovered mines can be checked through an image.

“As a humanitarian weapon system, it is expected to greatly contribute to reducing human casualties in conflict areas around the world,” DAPA spokesman Cho Hyun-ki said, as reported by Aju Business Daily.

Additional Capabilities

Under development since 2015, the PRS-20K utilizes radio waves to analyze heterogeneous soil layers, identify underground structures, and detect buried foreign objects.

The equipment can help minimize casualties caused by landmines swept to civilian areas during the rainy season. It can also be utilized for war remains excavation projects.

Since the detector locates anti-personnel metal and non-metallic explosives, it can uncover North Korean wooden-box mines, which have few metal components and are extremely difficult to detect using conventional mine detectors.

Expected to be delivered in the second half of 2022, the PRS-20K will replace South Korea’s aging PRS-17K detectors introduced in the late 1990s.

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