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Seoul defense exhibition aims to boost arms exports

时间:2023-12-02 19:05:09 来源:网络整理 编辑:스포츠

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The Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, known as Seoul ADEX, kicks off Tuesday wit

The Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, known as Seoul ADEX, kicks off Tuesday with the public debut of Korea's indigenously developed KF-21 Boramae fighter jet, as the country looks to score record-breaking exports for the defense industry this year.

The biannual event, which takes place at at the Seoul Airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, is expected to draw 550 participating companies -- the largest number since it was first held in 1996 -- from 34 countries, according to Seoul ADEX organizers.

This year’s event will also feature the biggest foreign delegation in its history, as dozens of defense ministers and heads of arms procurement agencies and military forces from over 50 countries are set to visit.

The six-day event is expected to attract about 300,000 visitors. According to the co-organizing committee, weapons systems on display will number over 100, including the homemade KF-21 Boramae fighter jet making its debut to the public and key US military assets such as the F-22 Raptor stealth jet and B-1B Lancer heavy bomber.

As Seoul ADEX 2023 will contain 2,320 booths led by the country’s major defense firms, including Hanwha Group, Hyundai Rotem, Korea Aerospace Industries, LIG Nex1 and Poongsan, Korea is seeking to use this year’s exhibition as a catalyst to boost the country’s arms exports even further.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, South Korea accounted for 2.4 percent of the total global share of arms exports between 2018 and 2022, placing the country ninth, behind the United States, Russia, France, China, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and Spain.

During the same period, Korea’s arms exports jumped by 74 percent to lead the up-and-coming list, whereas Russia, China, the UK and Spain posted decreases ranging from 4 percent to 35 percent.

The Korean government has set out the goal of reaching $20 billion in defense exports this year, after logging a record-high $17.3 billion last year on the back of massive deals to deliver various weapons systems to Poland, such as K2 tanks, K9 self-propelled howitzers, the multicaliber rocket launcher Chunmoo and FA-50 light combat aircraft.

Last year, President Yoon Suk Yeol declared the government’s goal to make the country the fourth-largest defense exporter in the world by 2027. To secure at least a 5 percent share in the global arms market, the government pledged an investment of 1 trillion won ($740 million) in research and development through 2027.

“While defense exhibitions and air shows in major countries are experiencing slow growth or becoming stagnant, Seoul ADEX stands out as one of the fastest-enhancing defense exhibitions in the world as it grew more than twice in scale compared to 10 years ago,” said Lee Jong-ho, head of the event’s co-organizing committee.

“In order to become a top-three air show in the world, we will do our best to increase the satisfaction of high-ranking military officials and buyers from overseas and ensure the safety and convenience of the general visitors.”

Seoul ADEX 2023 runs through Sunday. The general public can access the event on the weekend.