Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has outlined plans to expand through investments over the next few years to become one of the world’s biggest aerospace firms by the end of this decade.
Senior KAI officials said in a press conference in Seoul on 4 April that the firm will invest about KRW2.2 trillion (USD1.9 billion) in facilities, research and development (R&D), and growing new businesses over the coming five years.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) regards its KF-X fighter aircraft (pictured) as a key platform in its expansion plans over the coming decade. The aircraft is under development and is scheduled to make its first flight in 2022. (Korea Aerospace Industries)
These investments are aimed at expanding the value of KAI sales to KRW5 trillion by 2025 and to KRW10 trillion by 2030. KAI’s sales in 2020 were KRW2.83 trillion.
KAI’s president and CEO Ahn Hyun-ho said in comments reported by local news agencies that by 2030 about KRW3 trillion of targeted sales will be sourced from new businesses including urban air mobility, unmanned systems, satellites, military-aerospace electronics, and simulation and related software.
The remainder of targeted sales, he said, will be sourced from KAI’s core area of aircraft manufacturing and related services in military and commercial fixed- and rotary-wing domains. Key medium-term platforms in this regard will be KAI’s KF-X fighter aircraft, a prototype of which is expected to be rolled out in April, and its Light Armed Helicopter (LAH), both of which are under development.
KAI also plans to develop derivatives of these platforms and to invest in developing aircraft for transport and logistics applications as well as multipurpose operations including maritime patrol and reconnaissance to meet growing requirements within the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces and export markets.