The Russian government is attempting to slam the brakes on Korea’s sale of 3 trillion won (around $2.66 billion) in anti-aircraft arms to India, according to official sources in Seoul.
The Indian military selected a Korean-built anti-aircraft system as a candidate for acquisition last October after a bidding process involving a number of foreign arms makers as part of a recent plan by New Delhi to upgrade its air defenses.
The weapon in question - the K30 Biho - was developed by Korea’s Agency for Defense Development in 2013 as a short range anti-aircraft and anti-missile system. In the bidding process, it beat out an upgraded Tunguska-M1 model built by the Russian state-owned defense company Almaz-Antey and the Pantsir missile system from the Russian KPB Instrument Design Bureau. The K30 Biho was judged the most capable of dual purpose use as an anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense system.
If a final contract is signed for the acquisition of the K30 Biho - paired with the surface-to-air Chiron missile developed by the Korean aerospace manufacturer LIG Nex1 - India plans to deploy the system by 2020 along a point on its border with Pakistan where five brigades are stationed.
The bidding was first officially announced in 2013, and the candidate weapons were evaluated throughout 2015 and tested in 2017. The Korean defense industry was eyeing the Indian market as a chance to move away from domestic sales to exports. The contract involves exporting 104 Biho systems, 97 ammunition carriers, 39 command vehicles, 4,928 missiles and 172,260 rounds of ammunition, bringing the contract’s total value to 2.5 to 3 trillion won. (end of excerpt)
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