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S. Korean shipbuilder signs largest-ever defense export deal
SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean shipbuilder has signed the country's single-largest defense export deal, agreeing to sell submarines to Indonesia, officials said Wednesday.

   Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering has won a 1.3 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) order to build three submarines for Jakarta, becoming the first local company to export submarines, the company and the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

   Daewoo Shipbuilding said it will deliver the submarines, each weighing 1,400 tons, by the first half of 2018.

   The monetary value of the deal is South Korea's largest for a defense contract, Daewoo Shipbuilding said. It added the submarines to be exported can each carry 40 sailors and will be equipped with eight weapon tubes to fire torpedoes and guided missiles.

   According to the DAPA, South Korean defense contractors acquired a record $2.4 billion in combined export orders this year, more than double the amount from a year ago and an increase of almost $2.2 billion from 2006.

   Daewoo Shipbuilding had been competing with a French company since July. In September, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin visited Indonesia and asked Purnomo Yusgiantoro, his Indonesian counterpart, to add South Korean submarines to Jakarta's aging naval fleet.

   This was the second major defense deal between Seoul and Jakarta this year. In May, the South's state-run Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) agreed to export the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jets to Indonesia.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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