In June 2023, Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI) and Viettel Aerospace Institute (VTX), Vietnam’s largest telecom service provider, signed a preliminary agreement on cooperation to develop and manufacture helicopters. The agreement was included in the framework of the South Korean president’s state visit to Vietnam accompanied by the largest-ever economic delegation involving top conglomerates.
The defense sector is among the key areas for business cooperation between the two countries as Vietnam is looking to replace its current military helicopters. The collaboration is also a step forward in KAI’s efforts to boost sales of Surion helicopters to the Southeast Asian market.
KAI is Korea’s total solution provider in the aerospace sector. It holds more than 10 proprietary helicopter platforms, including marine and coast guard aircraft. The corporation has been taking a leading role in the domestic aviation industry and security with the successful development of KT-1 Basic Trainer, T-50 Advanced Jet Trainer, FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft, KUH-1 Utility Helicopter, and RQ-101 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
Prior to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with VTX, KAI inked several agreements with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Slovakia to sell FA-50 and T-50 fighter aircraft. Notably, the Korean corporation closed a deal worth USD 3 billion to deliver FA-50 fighters to Poland in 2022; however, the Surion helicopters have never been exported to other countries before.
(Source: KED Global)