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S. Korean arms exports hit record $3.4 bln in 2013

S. Korean arms exports hit record $3.4 bln in 2013

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Published : 2014-01-02 14:31
Updated : 2014-01-02 14:31

South Korean exports of weapons reached an all-time high of $3.4 billion in 2013 on strong sales of home-grown aircraft and naval ships, the state-run arms procurement agency said Thursday.

The amount is $1 billion more than that of 2012, and 14 times that in 2006, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said.

Most of their sales came from leading aircraft makers and shipbuilders, which tapped emerging countries in Latin America and the Middle East.

"Arms exports are meaningful as it boosts competitiveness of South Korean defense firms by expanding their market internationally, overcoming limited demand in the domestic market," DAPA said in a release.

South Korean aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries last month signed a $1.1 billion deal to export two dozen FA-50 light attackers to Iraq, making inroads into the Middle East arms market.

The FA-50 is a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer co-developed by KAI and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin, marking the first time for South Korea to export the light attack fighter.

KAI has sold T-50 trainer variants to such countries as Indonesia, Turkey and Peru in the past.

Last month, STX offshore & Shipbuilding Co., one of South Korea's leading shipbuilders, also signed a $71.3 million deal with Peru to build five patrol ships, following its deal with Colombia to make navy patrol ships. (Yonhap News)

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