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South Korea increases funding for three-axis plan in 2024

South Korea defence budget, 2015–30. (Janes)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced a business plan for 2024 aimed at driving developments in military capability and boosting domestic defence innovation and exports.

DAPA said on 8 March that its ‘major business implementation plan for 2024' is a response to increased threats from North Korea and growing international defence industrial competition. The plan is supported by South Korea's 2024 new defence budget and its associated five-year funding plan.

Military capability will support the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces' continuing ‘three-axis' defence programme, which is focused on strike, air defence, and retaliation. DAPA said it will spend KRW6.99 trillion (USD5.27 billion) on the three-axis programme during 2024, which it said represents a 12% increase over 2023.

Key three-axis programmes in 2024 include the construction of batch two Sejong Daewang (KDX-3)-class guided-missile destroyers, and the development of new batch-three KSS-III submarines and a new low-altitude missile defence (LAMD) system, said DAPA.

DAPA said South Korea is progressing a total of 57 projects in 2024 under the three-axis plan and its associated elements.

DAPA said it will also invest KRW2.4 trillion to progress defence technology research and development (R&D) in 2024. This includes KRW650 billion for “strategic technologies” including artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, manned-unmanned teaming, quantum, space, sensors, propulsion, cyber as well as new materials.DAPA said it aims to increase funding for the development of strategic technologies to KRW3.3 trillion by 2027.

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