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DAPA expands validation scheme for exports

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced plans to expand its military-validation initiative that seeks to boost defence exports by securing backing from the Republic of Korea (ROK) Armed Forces.

The initiative was rolled out in November but DAPA said in a press release that it will expand the project in April given its recent success. The initiative, it said, will be enlarged to include greater numbers of defence products as well as supplies, parts, and materials used in military platforms.

“From April we plan to accept applications … across an expanded range of products. There have been cases where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have successfully exported products through the project and more companies are now expected to participate in the initiative,” said DAPA.

In February DAPA said a small local firm Seju Engineering had secured a contract worth USD15 million to supply electronic fuses for 40 mm grenades to an unidentified international customer. DAPA said the contract is the first successful overseas order that stems from the ‘military-validation’ initiative.

Under the scheme, the ROK Armed Forces are requested to trial and validate the performance of locally made defence products that are developed and adapted for export markets. The first phase of the military-validation scheme covered three types of equipment made by local firms: ammunition/firearms, and 4×4 and 6×6 armoured vehicles.

The initiative is one in a series of new schemes launched by DAPA to stimulate international military sales. A major part of this push has been to leverage the competitive gains made through efforts to replace imports – especially components, systems, and subsystems – with locally developed and built products.

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