S. Korea and Colombia agree on mutual airworthy certification program for military aircraft

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : February 14, 2024, 10:49 Updated : February 14, 2024, 10:49
[Courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense]

SEOUL -- South Korea's arms procurement agency has partnered with Colombia's defense authority to jointly roll out a mutual airworthiness certification program for military aircraft. The mutual certification program will reduce the time taken in the verification process for the safety of military aircraft.

The airworthiness certification is designed to ensure the safety of an aircraft and evaluate the essential criteria for its design, production, and operation. Colombia is the sixth country to sign the airworthiness deal for military aircraft with South Korea, followed by the United States, Spain, France, Australia, and Poland.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement on February 14 that Colombia became the first South American country to formalize the airworthiness certification agreement with South Korea. Starting with the partnership with Colombia, DAPA aims to expand its exports in the South American region.

"The mutual recognition agreement will contribute to the development of the domestic aviation industry by expanding exports to the South American region and enhancing cooperation in the defense sector in the future," said DAPA VICE Minister Kang Hwan-seug.

Meanwhile, exports of South Korean aircraft soared 320.5 percent year-on-year to a record high of some $1 billion in 2023. According to data provided by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), exports to Poland accounted for $520 million of this total. In 2023, South Korea's aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), delivered 12 units of FA-50 fighter jets to the European nation.

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