South Korea’s arms exports have increased by 176%, ranking among the top ten arms exporters in the world

South Korea’s arms exports have increased by about 176% month-on-month in the past five years. A recent report predicts that South Korea’s arms exports are expected to reach 10 billion US dollars this year.

Yesterday Poland ordered the delivery of 48 FA-50 combat training aircraft to South Korea, of which the first 12 should be delivered already in the first half of 2023, and the service center for their maintenance should be built by 2026.

According to a report by a major news agency of South Korea, the Yonhap News Agency, a report released by them says Export-Import Bank of Korea last month showed that South Korea’s arms exports from 2017 to 2021 increased by 176.8% from the previous period (2012 to 2016). 2.8%, ranking eighth in the world.

Specifically, the increase in the export of Korean-made weapons is the largest among the top ten arms exporters in the world, including the United States, Russia, France and Germany. The market share of Korean-made weapons increased from 1% in 2012-2016 to 2.8% in 2017-2021.

Last year, the export of K-9 self-propelled howitzers, frigates, and T-50 advanced trainer aircrafts exceeded 7 billion US dollars, a record high, and the export value of military industry exceeded the import value for the first time (about 5 billion US dollars per year). Among the exports, ships topped the list with 68%, followed by artillery (19%) and aircraft (12%). It is worth noting that ship exports from 2017 to 2021 increased by 1,660% month-on-month, driving the increase in weapons exports.

The report predicts that the good momentum of South Korea’s military exports will continue until the end of the year, and the annual export volume is expected to reach 10 billion US dollars.
According to the US “Defense News” report, Polish Defense Minister Bwashcak said on July 22 that Poland will buy F/A-50 fighter jets, K-2 “Black Panther” tanks and a certain number of K-9s self-propelled artillery systems from South Korea.

According to the report, the total order value will be as high as about 19 trillion won (about 14.5 billion US dollars). The South Korean government and related military industries are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on a series of arms exports with the Polish Ministry of Defense on July 27. High-level officials of the South Korean Presidential Office have met with the heads of relevant companies on the issue of arms exports and discussed the quantity, price and delivery time of arms exports.

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