Hanwha Systems, a South Korean defense technologies company, is making a $25 million equity investment in a U.S. based startup in order to further develop UAM.

kfx jet

While Hanwha Systems has been previously involved with the aerospace industry, playing a significant role in the development of the KAI KF-X jet’s avionics, this investment in K4 Aeronautics its first into the air taxi industry.

The idea of urban air mobility is especially attractive for the residents and industries of Seoul, South Korea, a city that has roughly 2 million more residents than NYC but is 75 sq. miles smaller in size. For this purpose, Hanwha Systems is specifically targeting the development of personal aerial vehicles (PAV), citing interest in the budding air taxi market as a possible cost-efficient alternative to helicopter or private jet flights. “The personal aerial vehicle is an attractive business item that can expand our business into new fields by utilizing technologies from aviation electronics and information communication technology,” according to Hanwha Systems, “We will foster it as a future growth engine through global investment and cooperation with leading companies”.

hanwha and k4 ceos

Hanwha System CEO Chang Si-Kweon (left) and K4 Aeronaumics chief Ben Tigner (right). Source: Hanwha Systems

While new to the UAM industry, K4 Aeronautics has already acquired a number of patents applicable to the manufacturing of efficient and environmentally friendly eVTOLs, according to Hanwha. While the California-based company’s deal with Hanwha has not yet been approved by the US government, it should happen soon. “We believe K4 Aeronautics will meet the standards for market entry,” Hanwha Systems said in a statement. “Our investment deal will proceed with the normal requirements for the US government’s approval process”.

The South Korean company added that it would utilize its aerospace electronics, software. and cybersecurity technologies for the development of PAVs and officially expand its business to the UAM market.

Why it’s important: The latest investment by Hanwha’s represents yet another country’s interest in developing urban air mobility solution. With such a large investment in a U.S company, Hanwha illustrates the depth of international business collaboration that will enable UAM. 

Sources // Korea Herald

Subscribe to TUP

Listen to the TUP Podcast

Posted by Naish Gaubatz

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *