Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

By Natalie W. Crawford | Go to book overview

Chapter Fourteen
CHALLENGES IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FOR
THE KOREAN AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY
Tae Hwan Cho

INTRODUCTION

The aircraft industry is an advanced, complex technological industry that has a strong impact on other industries and, for the nation as a whole, it is a strategically important industry for strengthening international competitiveness through technological superiority. Developed countries throughout the world have been promoting the aircraft industry as an engine of continuous growth and development of advanced technology. The importance of the industry is a cute in areas of maintaining superior defense technology, promoting rapid-growth industries, and improving productivity. In Korea, the industry is now in a period of growth, but this growth is still insufficient in light of Korea's national economic potential and phase of development. We can see many countries that are similar to Korea in terms of economic scale or industrial level but have achieved significant advancement by pursuing a more active policy for their aircraft industry. Countries such as Taiwan, South Africa, and Brazil are good examples. These countries have already shown indigenous models of aircraft in the world market. In contrast, it is regretful that the Korean aircraft industry still remains at the level of simple fabrication or parts assembly though subcontracts with foreign manufacturers.

The economic crisis Korea is currently experiencing may be said to have originated from the fundamental weakness in the competi-

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