Visits to KAI, Hanwha Aero, Hyundai Rotem, etc.
State-of-the-art supersonic fighter test flight observation
Confirmation and encouragement of development of weapon systems such as self-propelled artillery
President Yoon Seok-yeol attended a defense export strategy meeting held at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) aircraft assembly plant in Sacheon on the 24th and said, “The government will actively support the defense industry so that it can contribute to national security and grow into a leading industry of the country.” . It is the first time that a defense export strategy meeting has been held under the Yoon Seok-yeol administration. The President’s Office explained that it was prepared to listen to the difficulties of companies and establish an organic cooperation system between the government, the military, and the industry in order to become one of the world’s four major defense export powerhouses. It also set a goal of exceeding 5% of the global market share by 2027.
President Yoon Seok-yeol and South Gyeongsang Province Governor Park Wan-soo shake hands at the 2022 Defense Export Strategy Meeting held at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Sacheon on the 24th./Gyeongnam Photo Cooperative Foundation/
President Yoon emphasized, “The defense industry is a new growth engine for the future and the backbone that drives the high-tech industry.” In particular, he highly praised the results of the largest-ever defense industry export achieved this year, and expressed gratitude to defense industry officials, saying that many countries around the world, including Poland, Australia, and Norway, are hoping for cooperation in the defense industry with Korea.
In June, President Yoon visited Doosan Energity in Changwon, the only nuclear power plant main equipment manufacturing company in Korea, and visited defense companies such as KAI, Hanwha Aerospace, and Hyundai Rotem in five months. As most of the nuclear power plants and defense industries that the current government is actively promoting as promising export industries are based in Gyeongnam, there are expectations that the positive effects on the local economy will be significant in the future. Experts view the defense and nuclear power industries as important trade goods in terms of the recent international situation, and as an important food source for the future of Korea, which is highly dependent on exports.
At the defense industry export strategy meeting on this day, defense industry-related government figures such as President Yoon, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang, Vice Minister of National Defense Shin Beom-cheol, and Defense Acquisition Program Administrator Eom Dong-hwan, as well as military leaders such as Army, Navy, and Air Force Chiefs of Staff, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Marine Corps all mobilized, including representatives of 60 defense companies. Attendance gave an idea of the importance of the meeting.
President Yoon’s plan is to prepare a ‘pan-governmental defense export support system’ so that defense exports can expand to industrial cooperation in other fields such as nuclear power plants and construction. President Yoon announced that he would strengthen the ‘customized export support project’ for the defense industry, saying, “Defense exports will contribute not only to our national security, but also to peace and stability in the international community and further strengthen solidarity with our allies.” Customized support is in the direction of supporting the development and performance improvement of export-type weapon systems and expanding the localization of parts.
At the meeting, the Ministry of National Defense presented four key tasks to achieve this, saying that it would surpass 5% of the global defense export share by 2027 and become the world’s top four defense exporters. In order to have the ability to develop excellent weapon systems with international competitiveness, core technologies in eight ‘game changer’ fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), hypersonic speed, synthetic biology, high energy, future communication/cyber, space, unmanned/autonomous, and quantum physics It also said that it would preemptively secure the
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced the strategy of ‘Strategic Industrialization of Defense Industry for Export’ and five key tasks. Announced plans to nurture the defense industry ecosystem by promoting the development of 40 key materials and parts technologies, including carbon composite materials, a key material in the defense industry, and investing 50 billion won a year in the fields of machinery, aviation, materials, parts, and equipment to nurture 3,300 manpower. .
Prior to the meeting, President Yoon observed a test flight of the KF-21, a state-of-the-art 4.5-generation supersonic fighter currently being developed by KAI, and encouraged Lieutenant Colonel Lee Jin-wook, who piloted the aircraft. In addition, the current status of fixed-wing aircraft such as KC-100, KT-1, and FA-50 developed with domestic technology, and rotary-wing aircraft such as Surion and LAH (small armed helicopter) were reported.
In the afternoon, President Yoon visited Hanwha Aerospace in Changwon and confirmed plans to develop various weapon systems, including self-propelled artillery, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons, and unmanned vehicles. He toured the assembly process of ‘Cheonmu’, a multiple rocket launcher (MLRS) exported to Poland, and encouraged the officials. At Hyundai Rotem, we toured K2 tanks, K808 wheeled armored vehicles, and multi-purpose unmanned vehicles.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s defense exports reached an annual average of $3 billion until 2020, but soared to $17 billion (approximately 22.58 trillion won) this year, recording an all-time high. In 2017-2021, the global export market share was 2.8%, ranking 8th. Hyundai Rotem, Hanwha Defense, and KAI, which are defense companies in the South Gyeongsang region, signed a comprehensive contract to export 1,000 K2 tanks, 672 K-9 self-propelled artillery pieces, and 48 FA-50 light attack aircraft to the Polish Armament Agency, respectively, last July. . Then, at the end of August, the first implementation contract (main contract) was signed to export 180 K2 tanks by 2025 and 212 K-9 self-propelled howitzers to the Polish Armament Administration by 2026.
Reporter Lee Sang-kwon [email protected]
Reporter Lee Sang-kwon [email protected]