Army offers to try out more defense products for exportThe Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced Wednesday that the military's validation of locally-made defense products will be expanded to beef up Korea's arms exports.
The Korean military validates locally developed defense products by using them for a specified period. The system was started in November 2019 and the Army commenced trials of products in October 2020.
In the initial phase of the scheme, the Army signed an agreement with three unidentified Korean defense firms to try out a limited range of military equipment including 4×4 and 6×6 armored vehicles, 12 kinds of firearms and coastal surveillance radar systems.
The revised policy expands the program to other kinds of equipment and materials starting at the end of March.
Product trials conducted by the Army through the military's validation initiative include performance tests and evaluations by Army operators. In return for freely lending their wares to the Army, defense suppliers receive evaluations that support their products in the international defense export market.
According to a DAPA press release Wednesday, one medium-sized defense manufacturer concluded an export contract worth $15 million after receiving performance evaluations from the Army.
DAPA said it hopes a greater number of companies will participate in the initiative.
“We plan to actively support the establishment of new markets by expanding the scope of products covered by the military's validation initiative, which will make our domestic manufacturers more competitive in the defense exports industry,” said Kim Saeng, DAPA’s director of international cooperation.
According to DAPA, countries that import defense products often ask whether the products have been used and evaluated by the armed forces in their country of origin.
BY MICHAEL LEE [email@example.com]