The Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on its official Twitter on Nov. 16 that it plans to purchase South Korea's medium-range surface-to-air missile (M-SAM).
The contract size is said to be about $3.5 billion (about 4.14 trillion won). If confirmed as it is, it is expected to be recorded as the first overseas export of M-SAM and the largest amount of defense export ever.
A UAE official said in an interview with the local media, "Negotiations with Korea are at a very advanced stage and are about to reach a final conclusion."
A South Korean military official also said, "The last-minute negotiations are underway and a contract will be signed within a few weeks."
The M-SAM, also called 'Cheongung', is an interceptor missile developed by domestic defense companies such as LIG Nex1 and Hanwha Systems led by the Defense Science Research Institute (ADD).
It can track and destroy enemy ballistic missiles flying from an altitude of 20 to 40 km. It will pass the final quality certification test in August of this year and will be deployed to major military bases from next year.
One 'Chungung' battery consists of a mobile detection radar, three to four vehicle-type launchers, and an engagement control center.
Considering the amount of introduction announced by the UAE, 7-10 batteries are expected to be exported.
A military official said, "If the export to UAE is successful, it will prove the superiority of domestic guided weapons comparable to American and Russian models, and at the same time increase the possibility of additional export."