South Korea‘s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, DAPA, and the Australian delegates held the 8th ROK-Australia Defense Industry Cooperation Joint Committee meeting to discuss ways to improve the defense industry cooperation between the two countries including the issues concerning the export of South Korean-built K‑9 self-propelled missiles to the other country. The Austrian delegation visited Seoul on a four-day tour since April 23.
Kim Cheol-soo, director of the Defense Promotion Bureau under the DAPA, and his Australian counterpart Mark Reynolds, head of the Trade and Industry Group, the Australian Defense Materiel Organization (DMO), discussed the issue on exporting South Korean-built K‑9 missiles to Australia at the joint committee meeting.
The two executives also discussed the two countries’ bilateral military cooperation concerning defense industry field including the ways for South Korean defense industries to enter an Australian Armed Forces modernization project.
The K‑9 Thunder self-propelled artillery of the ROK Armed Forces was chosen as the preferred weapon in June 2010 by the Australian Army as one of the contenders for Land 17 self-propelled gun replacement, a part of the artillery modernization project of the Australian Armed Forces.
However, this project has been delayed because the country’s budget for the project was earmarked by priority for the restoration of 2011 Queensland floods.
The K‑9’s have been deployed along the front line including the five West Sea islands to be used as a major weapon to hit any missile from North Korea on its initial stages. The excellence of this artillery has been proven by its export to Turkey.
Furthermore, it has been positioned as South Korean “masterpiece” weapon to the extent that it is expected to be exported to Malaysia.
Ministry of National Defense[MND], Republic of Korea