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DAPA outlines priority offset projects

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is targeting nearly 20 major defence offset programmes over the next two years, with a view to spurring local capability development.

DAPA said in a notice issued on 29 October that its new list of ‘offset targets' between September 2021 and September 2023 is intended to help local defence companies “establish strategies to participate in offset trade projects” with participating foreign contractors.

Local firms looking to be involved in the offset projects have to register with DAPA, which then identifies local entities – termed in DAPA's offset guidelines as Korean Industry Participants – who will partner with the prime contractors.

Foreign contractors such as Boeing, L3Harris, Saab, Babcock, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric (GE) have been identified by DAPA in its offset list.

According to DAPA, priority offset programmes during the next two years include work associated with Boeing's USD1.6 billion deal to supply South Korea with AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, which were ordered in 2013, and UK group Babcock's work related to its contract to deliver weapons handling and launch equipment for the country's KSS-III-class diesel-electric submarines.

Other offset programmes are linked to South Korea's acquisition of Patriot Advanced Capability missiles from the United States, gas turbine engines from Rolls-Royce and GE, and communications equipment from unidentified suppliers.

Other information in the notice shows that DAPA expects to secure offset contracts linked to pending procurements of transport helicopters, additional combat helicopters, transport fixed-wing aircraft, and radars.

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