South Korean defense firm LIG Nex1 gets $3.2 billion contract for missile system

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In a major boost to South Korea’s defense exports, LIG Nex1 has secured a lucrative $3.2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia for the sale of their advanced mid-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM II). The contract, signed in November, signifies a significant milestone for LIG Nex1, marking its second successful overseas sale of the Cheongung M-SAM II system after a previous deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier in 2022.

The Cheongung M-SAM II is a cutting-edge missile system capable of intercepting incoming threats at altitudes of up to 40 kilometers, providing crucial defense for vital facilities against artillery and aircraft attacks. The details of the contract were revealed following discussions between the defense ministers of South Korea and Saudi Arabia during their meeting in Riyadh, where they sought to strengthen bilateral ties in the defense industry.

During the World Defense Show, held in Riyadh, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Saudi defense ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate cooperation in the defense industry and joint weapons development. This MOU establishes a bilateral committee that will collaborate on research and development of advanced weapons systems, paving the way for continued cooperation between the two countries in defense technology.

South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik concluded his three-nation tour of the Middle East, which included visits to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, aimed at bolstering defense ties and exploring further opportunities for collaboration. This successful trip underscores South Korea’s growing presence in the global defense market and its commitment to advancing technological prowess in the defense sector.

(Source: Reuters | Firstpost | Arab News | The Korea Herald)

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