Hanwha Systems selected for development of joint maritime tactical data link

By Lim Chang-won Posted : December 20, 2022, 14:23 Updated : December 20, 2022, 14:23

[Courtesy of Hanwha Systems]

SEOUL -- Hanwha Systems, a key defense contractor affiliated with Hanwha Group, was selected for a military project to develop the Korean version of Link-22, a secure digital radio link used by NATO members as a tactical data link that interconnects tactical data systems and enables the exchange of tactical data among military units. 

In modern warfare, superior situation awareness is crucial for rapid command decisions and precisely guided munition. The main communicational enabler is a tactical data link that transmits, relays, and receives tactical data. Link-22 is equipped with new encryption equipment and increased communication capabilities.

Hanwha Systems has secured a contract worth about 209.5 billion won ($161.6 million) with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), a state arms procurement agency, for the development of a joint maritime tactical data link system that shares and disseminates target information detected by warships, submarines, and aircraft in real time. By quickly and effectively linking surveillance systems, command control systems, and strike systems, allied forces can conduct organic operations.

Hanwha Systems will develop data link processors and network control software, which are key components of Link-22, and install joint cryptographic equipment, modems, and communication equipment for their integration with warship combat management systems or land command stations.

Hanwha Systems aims to complete mass production by 2029 following the development of systems for 16 types of frigates, destroyers, submarines and support ship ships. "Through our unique position in the field of tactical data links at home and abroad, we will maximize the Navy's operational capabilities and prove the reliability and excellent performance of K-defense," Hanwha Systems CEO Eoh Sung-chul said in a statement on December 20. 

As a key player in establishing the advanced communication system of South Korean troops, Hanwha Systems has provided a combat management system (CMS), which serves as the brain of a warship and operates sensors, weapons, communications and a command system. The company is already involved in the development of a joint tactical data link system (JTDLS) in a complete format that shares real-time situational awareness and command and control information. 

JTDLS interconnects strategic and tactical systems effectively using satellites as well as wireless and wired networks, allowing fighters, ships and ground forces to share theater information, stationary or mobile. South Korea has developed a tactical data link network called "Link-K." 

Hanwha Systems said the complete type of JTDLS would help South Korea end its reliance on a foreign system and expand Link-K to various weapon systems. Link-K can successfully connect battlefield information collected through a domestic surveillance system to the joint operation control tower and various weapons systems.
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