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DAPA launches 'component registry' to bolster import substitution efforts

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) launched a ‘domestic component registration system' on 7 July as part of wider efforts to promote import substitution.

Under the new system, which has been developed by DAPA to highlight gaps in the domestic defence-industrial supply chain, tier-one defence contractors in the country will be encouraged to source supplies from a registry of verified local components and subsystems.

By using the system, contractors will be required to procure the local products if they meet performance and price requirements. Any decision not to acquire local products will need to be justified, said DAPA.

The registry will include full details of local components and information about the platforms the parts are integrated onto. Foreign-sourced components will also be identified, said DAPA. “The system is expected to enable contractors to discover alternative domestic suppliers of parts,” it added.

The new registry is part of a plan announced by DAPA earlier this year to encourage the localised production of components and subsystems. To support the effort, DAPA is investing about KWR88 billion (USD81 million) during 2021 on setting up and supporting new initiatives, such as the registry, aimed at reducing dependency on imports.

The plan reflects DAPA's accelerated campaign to support defence-industry jobs and skills in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiatives are also aligned with a target to maximise local industry's involvement in the modernisation of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces over the coming few years.

South Korea's defence spending plan for 2021–25 proposes total defence funding of KRW300.7 trillion, with KRW200.6 trillion allocated for operating expenses and KRW100.1 trillion for military modernisation, including procurement and research and development.

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