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India to showcase indigenous missiles in Korean defense fair

India will showcase its domestically developed guided missiles at a defense exhibition in South Korea next week in an effort to reach out to the global arms market, its state defense institute said Friday.

A delegation from India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) visited South Korea ahead of the Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) set to kick off Tuesday for a six-day run at the Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex) in Ilsan, just north of Seoul.

The Indian weapons to be on display will include its homegrown tactical surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles, called Akash and Pragati, and an airborne early warning system, Indian delegation officials said.

"This is the first time in the history of the nation that DRDO has been displaying the major weapons system internationally," S.

Radhakrishnan, a director from the institute, said during a press briefing in Seoul. "We would like to work with South Korea as an important strategic partner to mutually benefit each other in many areas."

Chander said the institute's first missile display in South Korea is based on the close relations between the two nations and expressed hope that both sides will continue to expand partnership.

The Akash missile, he said, can target aircraft up to 30 kilometers away, using its advanced communications system. The Pragati missile covers a range of 60 km to 170 km with an advanced guided system, using a solid propellant for quick reaction within few seconds, he said.

Both missiles have recently been supplied to the Indian armed forces for field deployment, according to the delegation officials.

The DRDO's big presence in the Korean exhibition shows its bid to tap into potential markets in the Asia-Pacific region, where China's military buildup is driving up defense spending in neighboring countries. 

On the sidelines of the exhibition, a bilateral defense meeting will be held on Tuesday, bringing together senior military officials and major defense contractors of the two nations, the officials said.

Established in 1958, the Indian state defense organization has a network of more than 50 laboratories in aeronautics, armaments, electronics and battle systems, according to the DRDO, they said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between South Korea and India.

Meanwhile, India is set to sign a $1.2 billion contract later this year with South Korean shipyard Kangnam for eight minesweepers, according to an Indian delegation official.

The deal is to replace India's aging fleet of 12 Pondicherry and Karwar class minesweepers, he said. (Yonhap News)





 



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