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DX Korea 2022: South Korea showcases world-class land warfare capabilities and export clout

DX Korea 2022 Showroom

The Korean Defense Forces and local industry once again showcased their latest progress at DX Korea, South Korea’s premier marine exhibition, held from September 21 to 25 at the KINTEX Exhibition Center in Goyang City.

DX Korea 2022, the fifth iteration, is co-organized by the DX Korea Committee and the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and is hosted by the Korea Army Association (ARoKA) with the support of the agency for Defense Development (ADD), Defense Acquisition Program Management Agency (DAPA), Defense Technology and Quality Agency (DTaQ), Ministry of National Defense (MND), Korea Research Institute of Defense Technology Planning and Development (KRIT), and Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

Other supporting organizations include the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Defense Industry Association (KDIA).

According to statistics provided by the DX Korea Committee, DX Korea 2022 has 28,160 m2 Exhibition area and 210 exhibiting companies. In comparison, inaugural activity in 2014 was only 11,290 m2 scale, involving 104 companies.

Speaking to a key audience of domestic media on Sept. 20, Colonel Kim Sung-jin, head of defense support, noted that the event, one of the few dedicated to ground forces, could play a role in helping South Korea establish its competitiveness. International defense supplier, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has had a huge impact on its recent export success.

In fact, Seoul wants to take advantage of the recent contract with Poland worth over $14 billion, a groundbreaking deal that includes the Hanwha Defense K9 Thunder 155mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) and the Hyundai Rotem K2 Panther main battle Tanks (MBT), and the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 light attack aircraft, as well as significant technology transfer and local production.

South Korean Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopter
South Korean Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopter

The achievement has drawn more attention to South Korean-made military equipment and even prompted President Yoon Seok-yeol to announce in August an ambitious plan to make South Korea one of the world’s top four defense suppliers.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), South Korea currently ranks eighth in the world in defense exports from 2017 to 2021, with the United States, Russia, France and China occupying the top four spots.

DX Korea 2022 is hosted by leading South Korean defense technology developers including Hanwha Defense – now recognized as South Korea’s largest and most diversified defense company with a comprehensive product portfolio with successful platforms such as the K21 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) ), Hybrid Bihao self-propelled anti-aircraft gun/missile system, Chunma surface-to-air missile system and K9 self-propelled howitzer and its supporting K10 ammunition supply vehicle.

K808 WAV deployment force
K808 WAV deployment force

Besides Hanwha, other homegrown developers include Kia Motors, which showcased its range of tactical and utility vehicles and the latest in fuel cell electric vehicle technology (FCEV), and Hyundai Rotem, which showcased an updated version of its K2 Main Battle Tank (MBT) ) and Wheeled Armored Vehicle (WAV) K808/KW2 Wheeled Armoured Vehicle (WAV) with Active Protection System (APS). The K808 on display was also equipped with TenCate’s Liba Add-on Armor.

Unlike most other international defense exhibitions, the DX Korea series features South Korean Army live-fire and maneuvering demonstrations, and the 2022 edition showcases 19 military vehicles and equipment at the Seungjin Fire Training Ground in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do, some 65 kilometers northeast of Seoul.

Republic of Korea Army live fire
Republic of Korea Army live fire

Live fire includes the indigenously developed LIG Nex1 AT-1K Raybolt (Hyeongung) anti-tank missile, apparently inspired by the stunning success of its foreign counterparts in Ukraine against Russian armored forces.

by Jr Ng

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