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Us Funds South Korean Military Project

SNU professors to undertake US-funded military research project

A study team at Seoul National University (SNU) will conduct a two-year research on military technology funded by a U.S. Navy institute.

The research team, led by Dr. Kim Yong-hwan, professor at the department of naval architecture and ocean engineering of SNU's college of engineering, said it has won the bid for the project on fluid pressure applications from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) affiliated with the U.S.Navy.

It is the first time a local research team has been selected for a U.S. military research project.

The research is designed to develop technological methods to relieve fluid pressure when firing torpedoes and other underwater-launched weapons by reducing route deviation caused by high speed friction.

The team is planning to develop smaller high-speed warships, which are capable of reducing their impact in the water along coastal areas with strong tidal currents.

The professors are scheduled to begin conducting joint research on May 1 with the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) of the U.S. for two years.

About $130,000 of the total $190,000 research fund will be earmarked for the SNU team.

The value is significant considering the $1.5-2 million issued annually by the ONR research fund.

According to Kim's team, the U.S. Navy is seeking ways to develop smaller but speedier coastal warships to improve their combat strategy in coastal areas.

The team will meet the U.S. Navy twice a year to discuss the research achievement during the project and transfer the related technology to the MIT.

“We can bring the research project achievements to our country, which are supposed to be the basic research field of the ONR. The project is expected to bring new outcomes as next-generation technology in Korea,” Kim said.

Kim was named SNU professor at the department last year after serving as research professor at the ocean engineering department at the MIT.

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