Sunday, May 15, 2022

South Korea signs $3B deal with UAE for Cheongung-II missile systems

The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, announced a multibillion deal to sell Cheongung-II mid-range surface-to-air missile systems to the United Arab Emirates.

Yonhap on Jan. 14, reported that Korea will supply indigenous midrange surface-to-air missile systems to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a deal reportedly worth 4 trillion won ($3.36 billion), marking the first sale of the domestically-developed multi-layered anti-missile system to a foreign country.

As noted by theDefense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), LIG Nex1, Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Defense each exchanged contracts on Cheongung-II with Tawazun Economic Council, which is the UAE’s defense and security acquisitions authority.

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They exchanged the contracts in the presence of President Moon Jae-in and the UAE Prime Minister and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Moon met the prime minister as part of his eight-day trip to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The deal came two months after the UAE’s Ministry of Defense tweeted in November that it plans to acquire the missile system.

Minister of Defense Acquisition and DAPA chief Kang Eun-ho told reporters that the deal marks the single most lucrative weapons export contract in the history of Korea’s defense industry. Until now, the single largest defense industry export deal, valued at about 1 trillion won, was for submarines sold to Indonesia.

The Cheongung-II battery, developed by the Agency for Defense Development and contract manufactured by the three companies, is an upgraded version of Cheongung designed to intercept lower-tier ballistic missiles in flight at altitudes of below 40 kilometers and boasts an unmatched precision rate in terms of hit-to-kill capabilities.

“While Cheongung was developed to intercept aircrafts, Cheongung-II is capable of intercepting both aircrafts and ballistic missiles,” Kang said. “I can proudly assure the capability of the system.”

Following the deal, expectation is growing over additional deals between Korean defense firms and other countries defense authorities.

When asked about additional defense-related events during the remainder of Moon’s trip, Kang said, “We are making concerted efforts.” He also affirmed that Korea is in negotiation with other countries over Cheongung-II exports.

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About this Author

Min Cheol Gu
Gu Min-Chul is a defense reporter, covering the Korean defense industrial base and all related issues.

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