Defense contractors exhibit wares in UAE

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Defense contractors exhibit wares in UAE

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From left; Hyundai Rotem’s exhibition at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference 2019 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, United Arab Emirates, and Kia Motors’ military cargo truck concept car exhibited at the same event. The largest defense exhibition in the Middle East runs from Feb. 17 through 21. [HYUNDAI ROTEM, KIA MOTORS]

Korea’s defense contractors headed to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, to bolster exports to the growing defense market in the region.

About 30 Korean companies participated in the biennial event held from Feb. 17 through 21 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Domestic participants include Hanwha, LIG Nex1, Hyundai Rotem, Kia Motors and Korea Aerospace Industries.

At the event, Hanwha introduced its K-9 Thunder self-propelled artillery system and multiple rocket launcher dubbed Chunmoo.

Korea Aerospace Industries introduced its KT-1 training aircraft as well as the Surion utility helicopter, while LIG Nex1 showed off a series of guided missiles including the mid-range surface-to-air missile.

Hyundai Motor Group’s locomotive maker participated in the event by creating a joint booth with Kia Motors. It exhibited a life-size mock-up of the HR-Sherpa, an unmanned military vehicle it is developing, for the first time at a foreign exhibition.

The company also exhibited its K2 battle tank.

“To export K2 tanks, we will actively promote sales in markets with demand for tanks such as the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe,” a spokesperson from Hyundai Rotem said. “We will also keep developing our future growth engines by creating cutting edge defense products, like the unmanned military vehicle, that meets the needs of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Affiliated Kia Motors introduced a tactical four-seater cargo truck concept car. The car is capable of four-wheel driving and comes with a Euro 5 diesel engine with 225 horsepower and eight-speed automatic transmission. By participating at the UAE event, Kia said it hopes to position itself as a global military car maker in a statement Monday.

Korea’s Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo also took part in the event to help promote exports and to consult with representatives of defense authorities of Middle East countries.

An official from the country’s Defense Ministry said the minister’s visit comes after bilateral relations between Korea and the UAE elevated to a special strategic partnership during President Moon Jae-in’s trip to the country last year.

“Even without the enhanced partnership between the two countries, IDEX has been an important event for the ministry as it is the largest defense exhibition in the Middle East and Africa,” the official said. “Two years ago, our vice minister participated.”

In total about 1,500 defense companies from about 70 countries are participating in the event that celebrates its 14th year after being launched in 1993.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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