Korea aims to be global aerospace player

A South Korean aerospace group says it expects to be competing with leading global players in the next decade by building high-tech planes and offering extensive support programmes.

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said that, despite the company̵7;s late entry into the market, it had a track record in building aircraft that could compete with the best in the world.

Park Noh-sun, executive vice president of the company, said that just as people did not think Korean companies would succeed in autos, ships and electronics, KAI intended to show the world that it could at least be on par with companies like Saab and Israel Aerospace Industries.

Both of these companies make indigenous military and civilian aircraft and command niches in the global market.

Park Noh-sun told the Korean Times: ̶0;We probably rank 24th at present and want to reach 19th place by 2010."

KAI, launched in 1993 after a decision to merge small aerospace companies that were unable to compete in the industry, is jointly owned by Doosan Infracore Co., Samsung Heavy Industries and the state-run Korea Development Bank.

Its sales in 2007 reached 7.8 trillion won with exports accounting for about 40 percent of the total.

Image: KAI wants to move up the aerospace ranks

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