LIG Nex1 secures $3.2 billion missile interceptor deal with Saudi Arabia

The agreement, finalized in November, involves the sale of Cheongung M-SAM II to the Saudi defence ministry. This marks the second international sale of Cheongung-II missiles, following a previous deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January 2022.

South Korean defence firm LIG Nex1 has recently secured a massive contract worth $3.2 billion to export mid-range surface-to-air missiles (M-SAM II) to Saudi Arabia. The deal, confirmed by Seoul’s defence ministry, highlights LIG Nex1’s growing presence in the global defence market.

The agreement, finalized in November, involves the sale of Cheongung M-SAM II to the Saudi defence ministry. This marks the second international sale of Cheongung-II missiles, following a previous deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January 2022.

The Cheongung M-SAM II system is designed for hit-to-kill interception of incoming missiles, protecting critical facilities against artillery and aircraft threats. With its capability to intercept targets at an altitude of approximately 40 kilometres, it serves as a vital defence asset for Saudi Arabia.

Details of the contract were revealed following discussions between the defence ministers of South Korea and Saudi Arabia during their meeting in Riyadh. The talks aimed to strengthen bilateral ties in the defence industry, coinciding with the World Defense Show.

During the defence exhibition, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and the Saudi defence ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to facilitate collaboration in the defence sector and joint weapons development. This MOU sets the stage for a bilateral committee to undertake research and development of weapons systems, fostering ongoing cooperation in defence technology.

South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik embarked on a diplomatic tour of the Middle East, including visits to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The trip underscores South Korea’s efforts to bolster defence partnerships and explore opportunities for collaboration in the region. Minister Shin’s weeklong tour concludes on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in South Korea’s defence diplomacy.

The multi-billion-dollar contract with Saudi Arabia underscores LIG Nex1’s success in expanding its global footprint in the defence market. With the growing demand for advanced defence systems worldwide, South Korean defence firms are well-positioned to capitalize on international opportunities, driving innovation and growth in the domestic defence industry.