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Hanwha Group

Hanwha is the biggest defense corporation in Korea, with annual weapons sales of almost USD $5 billion in 2021. The company has been acquiring other weapons makers, such as DSME in 2022, DOOSAN in 2016 and Samsung Defence in 2015, and often acts as the broker for other companies' arms exports to Indonesia.

Hanwha Group Chairman: KimSeung-youn

CEO salary: Kim was earning a USD $12 million salary in 2014 when he was banned from business activities following his conviction for embezzlement. In February 2021 Kim Seung-Youn returned as an executive to three group affiliates – Hanwha group’s holding company Hanwha Corp., Hanwha Solutions Corp. and Hanwha Engineering & Construction Co - and as of October 2021 is the Hanwha Group Chairman.

Hanwha Defense Systems CEO: Jae Il Son  

12F Hanwha Bldg., 86, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


Hanwha Techwin's Aerospace & Defense Business Group CEO Shin Hyun-Woo,

779, Gongdan-ro, Seongsan-gu, Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea  


In 2004 Hanhwa brokered the sale of 44 the ‘Barracuda’ armoured vehicles to Indonesia, manufactured by Doosan DST. Hanwha acquired Doosan in 2016 and rebranded the company as Hanwha Defense Systems. Their press release stated:

With the acquisition of Hanwha Defense Systems, Hanwha Group has further cemented its position as Korea's top defense company with the total Group defense business sales in 2016 estimated at 3.6 billion USD.

The company’s aim is for Hanwha Group to become one of the world's top ten defense companies ... by 2025.

In 2006, Hanwha negotiated the sale of 803 K3 light machine gun products to Indonesia together with SNT Motiv, a firearms defense company. These guns are now found in West Papua.

The K3 machine gun deal was part of Hanwha Trading Group's supply contract with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense of more than 100 million dollars, including 54 105mm towed howitzers and 105mm high-explosive ammunition. An official from Hanwha said:

As Hanwha is recognized as a specialized supplier of defense products in Indonesia, we are able to compete with foreign companies in an advantageous position for further exports in the future.

In 2009, Hanwha sold 43 Tarantula light tanks to Indonesia's military. All 43 weapons were delivered by 2013.




Hanwha Barracuda vehicles on the streets of West Papua

Barracuda 'riot suppression' vehicles are a familiar sight wherever there is protest activity in West Papua. A series of silent protests held outside the trial of Victor Yeimo during 2022 and 2023 have been encircled by these heavily armed vehicles. Victor Yeimo is the spokesperson of the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), a civil society group advocating dialogue and referendum. Yeimo is being tried for 'treason'.

Hanwha (formerly Doosan) sold 20 Barracuda weaponised vehicles to Indonesia in 2004. In 2022 Hanwha signed a contract with POLRI to supply 25 more of the weapons.

The Barracuda 4×4 armored wheeled vehicle is developed with top-of-the-line technology, and is capable of effectively performing security maintenance, riot suppression, and patrol missions with excellent high-speed maneuverability and outstanding protection capacity.

Effectively a mobile weapons station, the Barracuda can be equipped with various types of weaponry. SMB (Heavy Machine Gun) Browning M2HB 12.7 mm and 7.62 caliber medium machine gun can be mounted on the roof. In the Brimob variant, three viewing glasses are provided on either side. Under each glass block is a firing port suitable for the SS-1, M16 or Steyr AUG barrel.

The Barracuda is based on Thyssen Henschel's Radpanzer TM-170. Thyssen has been acquired by Rheinmetall.


Hanwha sold 43 Tarantula tanks to TNI in 2009, with delivery completed in 2013. The Tarantula are amphibious and are designed to provide 'infantry support fire'. The weapons fitted include a Cockeril CSE 90LP 2-man turret, produced in Belgium by CMI Defence, with a firing range of up to 6 kilometres. There is also a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Another 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun can be installed on top of the roof.