Korea Prepares for 2 Major Defense Shows
By WENDELL MINNICK, TAIPEI
South Korea is preparing for two back-to-back defense shows this month: the 6th Korea Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2007 (Seoul Air Show) scheduled for Oct. 16-21 at Seoul Airport, and the Naval & Defence Show scheduled from Oct. 24-27 at Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO), Busan.
The Seoul Air Show is expecting more than 225 exhibits from 24 countries with more than 37 official delegations from 30 countries. About 100,000 visitors are expected.
About 50 aircraft will be on display, including the new KAI T-50, KT-1, F-16C/D Blk. 32s from the 162 Fighter Squadron “Black Eagle” and a civilian acrobatic flight team. Indoor exhibitions include both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, space material, and weapon systems mock-ups and full scale.
The Seoul Air Show is co-organized by Korea Aerospace Industries Association, Korea Defense Industry Association (KDIA) and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is participating as a supportive organization.
Conferences include the 15th International Aerospace Symposium, Oct. 15, on the topic of Aerospace Industry in Korea. U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William Shelton, commander of JECC/SPACE-14, will give a presentation titled “Space Situational Awareness: Enabler of Effective Space Capabilities.” Other conferences include the Weapon Systems Seminar, UVS North East Asia and the International Air Chief Conference.
The Naval & Defence Show is being held in conjunction with SEA-PORT and KORMARINE as part of Marine Week. The Naval & Defence show focuses on naval shipbuilding; machinery and marine equipment; weapons and control systems; naval aviation; C4I; and combat, radar and sonar systems. Ships on exhibit include the KDX-I-class DDH-971 Kwanaggaeto the Great and an unidentified KDX-II-class destroyer, as well as a Fast Combat Support Ship (AOE), Tank Landing Ship (LST) and Mine Sweeper Hunter (MSH). The Navy will hold a Warship Design & Construction Seminar on Oct. 25-26.
SEA-PORT, or the International Port, Logistics & Environmental Technology Exhibition, focuses on port and port authority issues, facilities, container services and fisheries issues. KORMARINE, or the International Shipbuilding & Marine Equipment Exhibition, focuses on shipbuilding, repair, maintenance, engines and cargo issues. Marine Week is co-organized by the South Korean navy and the Korea International Trade Association, and is supported by KDIA.
All three shows are expecting attendance of over 1,000 companies, more than 1,400 booths and 37 countries representing roughly 40,000 visitors housed in three exhibition halls covering a total of 26,500 square meters.
The Korean Navy comprises 67,000 personnel with three fleet commands with a mix of destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Korea has nine Jang Bogo-ham (Type 209) submarines and 10 midget submarines. Hyundai Heavy Industries has been involved in a major destroyer building program, the Korean Destroyer Experimental (KDX) program, which is actually a 3,800-ton KDX-I, 5,000-ton KDX-II and 7,000-ton KDX-III warship.