From left: Exhibition booths of Hanwha Aerospace, Korea Aerospace Industries and LIG Nex1 during the Egypt Defense Expo 2023, held at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo this week. (Provided by each company)
South Korean defense firms are looking to expand their market presence in Africa and the Middle East as they showcase their latest cutting-edge weapons systems at the Egypt Defense Expo 2023 taking place at the country’s international exhibition center in Cairo this week.
According to Korea Aerospace Industries and LIG Nex1 on Tuesday, the two companies participated in the EDEX for the first time this year.
Korea Aerospace Industries, also known as the KAI, said it will concentrate on introducing the company’s next-generation air combat systems led by its signature FA-50 light combat aircraft and another combat aircraft, the KF-21, along with their advanced air vehicles.
The KAI pointed out that the Egyptian Air Force is the largest market behind the US market, with huge potential demand, noting that the FA-50 has already scored export deals with Poland and Malaysia and is now receiving decent assessments for its excellent performance and high operation efficiency.
The KAI is also presenting the company’s helicopters -- the Surion and Light Armed Helicopter -- equipped with its manned-unmanned collaborative combat system, which has been dubbed the game changers of future combat.
The company is looking to realize export opportunities with space products such as various satellites featuring synthetic aperture radar and low-altitude communication technologies.
LIG Nex1, a defense firm known for its guided airborne weapons, said it will display its signature weapons such as the Korean GPS Guided Bomb, or KGGB, along with active electronically scanned array radar, or AESA radar, and the land-based anti-tank guided missile, Raybolt.
“LIG Nex1 has been exploring various collaborative businesses with the local government and defense firms to pioneer the defense market in the Middle Eastern and African regions,” said LIG Nex1 CEO Kim Ji-chan.
“Through this EDEX, we will spread LIG Nex1’s technological competitiveness and solidify our position as a global defense firm.”
Hanwha Aerospace announced Monday that it is also taking part in the Egyptian arms exhibition as it has put together a 300-square-meter showroom headed by its best-selling self-propelled artillery package composed of the K9 self-propelled howitzer and the K10 ammunition resupply vehicle.
Due to the 2-trillion-won ($1.5 billion) self-propelled artillery deal signed with Egypt, Hanwha underscored that the interest in its weapons systems from nearby countries in the Middle East has increased.
According to the Global Defense Market Yearbook 2022 published by the
Korea Research Institute for Defense Technology Planning and Advancement, Egypt ranked third among the top 15 countries in global arms imports from 2017 to 2021, accounting for 5.7 percent of the market share.
By Kan Hyeong-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org)