The Ministry of Defense of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on its official Twitter account on Tuesday (local time) that it plans to purchase South Korea’s medium-range surface-to-air missile system called M-SAM. The deal is reportedly worth as much as 3.5 billion U.S. dollars. If all goes as scheduled, it will be recorded as the first export of M-SAM and the country’s largest amount of arms export.
In an interview with a local media, a UAE official said they are at an advanced stage of negotiations with South Korea and the deal is soon to be finalized. A South Korean military official also said they are in last-minute talks and the deal will be finalized in a few weeks. The M-SAM, also known as “Cheongung,”is an interceptor missile developed by domestic defense companies, including LIG Nex1 and Hanwha Systems under the lead of the Agency for Defense Development (ADD). It is capable of intercepting a ballistic missile at an altitude of 20-40 kilometers. It passed the final quality certification test in August and will be deployed to major military bases from next year.
A battery of M-SAM consists of a mobile detection radar, three to four vehicle-type launchers and a command post. Considering the amount announced by the UAE, seven to 10 batteries of M-SAM are likely to be exported. “A successful export to the UAE would prove the superiority of homegrown guided missiles, comparable to those of the U.S. and Russia, and increase the likelihood of additional export,” a military official said.
Sang-Ho Yun email@example.com