Korean defense companies display weapons at Eurosatory show

South Korean defense manufacturers displayed locally made weapons such as the K-9 self-propelled guns at the world’s largest defense exhibition underway in Paris, company officials said Tuesday.

The biennial Eurosatory defense expo that kicked off on Monday for a five-day run brings together an estimated 1,600 defense-related suppliers from some 70 countries.

A total of 21 South Korean defense manufacturers including Hanwha Techwin and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) are present at Eurosatory 2016 and are showcasing weapons made with home-grown technology, officials said.

Hanwha Techwin displayed the K-9 self-propelled howitzer that can hurl a 155 millimeter round to a maximum range of some 40 kilometer. The gun, which has been employed by South Korean troops since 2000, has been exported to Turkey and Poland.

The KAI, South Korea’s sole aircraft maker, said it displayed a mock up of its Surion (KUH-1) helicopter.

The Surion chopper was produced as part of a 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion) military procurement project designed to create the country’s first locally built helicopter. Since its first flight test in 2010, the helicopter has been adapted for both military and non-military missions.

The medium-sized chopper is currently used by the South Korean military as well as the police.

South Korea’s No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors said it showcased a light tactical vehicle, its version of the Humvee, at the defense show. The automaker is preparing to mass produce the military vehicle, in several configurations, that includes an armored version suited for reconnaissance.

Besides these companies South Korean manufacturers are displaying small arms, heavy machine guns and various military communication and sensors. (Yonhap)

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