SEOUL, Feb. 23 (UPI) — South Korea’s top defense firm, Hanwha Aerospace, announced an investment in Fortem Technologies, a U.S. airspace security firm.
For $17.8 million, Hanwha and other investors acquired the rights for future equity in Fortem, using a simple agreement that would allow them to claim shares of the company upon certain triggering events.
About half the money comes from Hanwha Aerospace, according to Hanwha’s Wednesday announcement. Other investors include U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin.
Fortem is an industry leader in the counter-drone market, a market that continues to expand as worries about unmanned aerial capability has become a reality, as evidenced in the Ukraine war.
Fortem has helped the Ukrainian troops fend off suicide drones such as the HESA Shahed-136, an Iranian loitering munition in the form of an autonomous pusher-prop drone.
Headquartered in Utah, the company is held and backed by such corporations as Toshiba, Boeing, DCVC, Mubadala Investment and Signia Venture Partners.
The counter-drone market is expected to grow from $685 million in 2019 to $4.7 billion in 2027, according to Fortem.
“The unique low-collateral solution developed by Fortem will contribute to the growth of the counter-drone market globally and help to address the evolving threats of unmanned aerial systems,” a Hanwha representative said in a statement.
Lockheed Martin Vice President Chris Moran also stressed the significance of anti-drone technology.
“Lockheed Martin Ventures’ investment in Fortem Technologies signals our commitment to keeping pace with our customer’s requirements, ensuring the U.S. and its allies stay ahead and ready,” he said in a statement.
The share price of Hanwha Aerospace dipped 1.37% Wednesday but was up 2.77% Thursday on the South Korean stock exchange.