S. Korea, U.S. to sign agreement on strengthening defense supply chains this month: DAPA

South Korea and the United States are expected to sign an arrangement aimed at bolstering bilateral security supply chains this month, Seoul's arms procurement agency said Monday, amid the allies' efforts to step up security cooperation.

In a policy report for a parliamentary audit, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said it expects to sign the Security of Supply Arrangement (SOSA) with the U.S. Department of Defense at the end of October.

Under the agreement, the allies will be able to make requests for priority delivery for defense-related orders from each other. The two sides had agreed to sign the arrangement once they complete administrative procedures during their talks in Washington in July.

DAPA said it will also make efforts for the signing of the Reciprocal Defense Procurement-Agreement between the two countries in a move to help ease some trade barriers for bilateral arms exports.

In May last year, President Yoon Suk Yeol and his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, agreed to begin discussions on the agreement as part of efforts to strengthen cooperation in defense supply chains during the summit in Seoul.

DAPA said it will also seek to ensure overdue payments are made by Indonesia for the joint KF-21 fighter jet development project by pushing for a revised cost-sharing agreement this year.

As a partner country, Indonesia has agreed to shoulder about 20 percent of the project's cost of 8.1 trillion won (US$5.98 billion) through 2026, but it is estimated to be behind in payments by nearly 1 trillion won.

The agency also said it expects to decide on the type of aircraft next month before signing a deal for the country's project to acquire additional large transport aircraft.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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