25 July 2017

News Story: Tech transfer - Korea, China score big in exports

K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer
By: Mike Yeo 

MELBOURNE, Australia — Given the region’s relative economic success and its share of the global defense spending pie, it is of little surprise that Asian defense companies are making inroads into the world arms market.

Countries in the region are quietly scoring export successes, none more so than South Korea. The country’s defense manufacturers have taken big strides from their beginnings as local assemblers and suppliers of defense articles to the South Korean military and are now a force to reckon with on the global arms market.

According to the Financial Times, South Korean military exports have soared nearly 1,100 percent since 2009 as the nation’s arms manufacturers thrive off growing global instability and the competitive pricing they can offer their potential customers, which has been a big selling point for South Korean defense equipment, particularly in more price-sensitive markets. An example of this is the Samsung Techwin K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer. One of just three tracked 155-millimeter, 52-caliber howitzer systems in the market, the K9 has already found export success with Finland, Estonia, Poland and India all selecting the design for the respective requirements. Finland acquired 48 former South Korean army howitzers earlier this year for a reported $155 million, or $3.2 million a copy.

Read the full story at DefenseNews