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Hanwha Defense loses out on $2.5b anti-air systems export

The Hybrid Biho anti-air defense system, developed by Hanwha Defense (Hanwha Defense)
The Hybrid Biho anti-air defense system, developed by Hanwha Defense (Hanwha Defense)

Hanwha Defense’s seven-year-long efforts to export its anti-air systems to India went up in smoke after the country decided to make the systems on its own to give a boost to the domestic industry, according to local media reports.

In a recent meeting chaired by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, the Indian Defense Ministry scrapped two arms import contracts that were in the final stages, including a $2.5 billion program to procure anti-air systems from South Korea. The tender for the program was floated in 2013 and the competition was primarily between Korea and Russia.

In October 2018, the Indian military selected Hanwha’s Hybrid Biho as the sole candidate because it was the only one among those under consideration to pass a performance test. Hybrid Biho is mounted with land-based short-range surface-to-air missiles developed by LIG Nex1, another Korean defense company.

Both companies said they had not received notification from India of any such decision.

“There hasn’t been an official notification from the Indian government. Considering that Hybrid Biho is the only system to have satisfied the Indian military’s requirements and that discussions have been made between defense ministers from the two countries, we are waiting for the results,” an industry source said.

Despite the selection of Hybrid Biho, the program had been stalled due to Russia protesting its disqualification and asking for another chance.

By Kim Byung-wook (