Arms exports of South Korea fell from 2022’s record high although the number of importers did increase due to the high demand for Korean-made materiel, according to the Ministry of National Defense. South Korea’s defense firms closed around USD14 billion worth of sales this year, as Hanwha Aerospace secured a USD2.4 billion contract to supply 129 Redback infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) to Australia in December. Earlier this year (2023), Malaysia announced Korea Aerospace Industries won the contract to supply 18 FA-50 light attack aircraft to Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for USD920 million. Seoul is looking to set a new record in 2024 with a target of USD20 billion after Poland’s second round of arms deals are completed.
South Korea has also set its sights on owning a 5% share of the global arms export market by 2027, which would make them the fourth-largest exporter of materiel. South Korea is currently in talks with the new Polish government after concerns that purchases made by the previous administration would be cancelled. In 2022, Poland had committed to procure K-2 main battle tanks (MBT), K-9 self-propelled howitzers (SPH), FA-50 jets and K-239 Chunmoo multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) in a massive deal worth USD13 billion. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Seoul ADEX)