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S. Korea earmarks 88.6 bln won for local firms' key weapons parts development

Defense 10:18 March 30, 2021

SEOUL, March 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will extend support for local defense firms this year to develop key components of major weapons with indigenous technologies, the arms procurement agency said Tuesday.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) designated 14 military hardware development projects and began receiving applications from local firms to replace their foreign-made parts with indigenous ones.

The budget for the support program came to 88.6 billion won (US$78.17 million), up from 20.3 billion won last year, it added.

Those subject to the assistance program include the KF-X project that aims to develop a next-generation fighter jet, and the one to build a short-range ground-to-air Cheonma missile, according to the agency.

The winners will be announced in June, DAPA said, adding that it plans to give the other bid notice for the second half in around August.

"The active participation of small- and mid-sized firms is needed to achieve the goal of developing more homegrown parts and weapons. We will continue to expand this project to secure advanced technologies and to create more jobs," DAPA official Kim Eun-seong said.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Lee Seong-yong checks the prototype of South Korea's indigenous fighter jet KF-X at Korea Aerospace Industries Co.'s plant in the southeastern city of Sacheon on March 2, 2021, in this photo provided by the Air Force. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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