OverviewKorea Aerospace Industry

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1번 The late 1970s ~ 1990
  • Simple production activities focused on maintenance and licensing
  • Assemblying 500MD and F-5E/F. License production of F-16 and UH-60
2번 The late 1990’s
  • Development of indigenous aircraft such as KT-1 basic trainer, T-50 supersonic advanced trainer, and Surion helicopter
3번 2000’s
  • Implemented various aerospace industry improvement program such as research and development of aircraft parts
  • Began KT-1 basic trainer export
  • Participation in overseas RSP including Airbus and Boeing
  • Smart UAV development
4번 2010s - Present
  • Beginning of the era of aircraft export (total 137 aircraft have been exported to 7 countries)
    ※ KT-1, T-50, and FA-50 have been exported to Indonesia, Iraq, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey
  • Local production of airframe parts for the most advanced civil aircraft such as A320, A350, B737, and B787
  • Development of KC-100
  • Acquired the FAA BASA certification
  • Developed and launched the Korean space launch vehicle (KSLV-I) in Jan. 2013
  • Development and export of FA-50, light combat aircraft
  • Expanding exports of civil aircraft parts to overseas commercial aircraft manufacturers
  • Developing KF-X and Light Civil Helicopter/Light Armed Helicopter (LCH/LAH)
  • Fostering various UAV and MRO programs
  • Developing the Korean space launch vehicle II (KSLV-II) and devising the Lunar exploration program
  • Concluded the Mutual Recognition on the Airworthiness Certification of Korea-US military aircraft in November 2016

Korea Aviation Industry’s Capability
블릿 A certain level of design/development capabilities 블릿 Test and evaluation technology secured
  • Still short of technology in advanced combat function and large-sized commercial aircraft
  • Assess to be capable of indigenously developing medium-sized aircraft

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Company Status per Sector
블릿 In Korea, 42% of 100 aviation companies are airframe companies accouting for 70% of industry’s exports. 블릿 Korea has a growth potential in the avionics industry in colloboration with advanced local electronics and ICT industries
Sector No. of company Main companies
System integration 2 KAI, Korean Air
Airframe 45
Avionics 24 LIG Nex1, HANWHA SYSTEM
Total 106 -


Employment status
블릿  The supply of high-quality manpower is stable, but the demand for manpower is relatively low
  • 12 major universities have aeronautics departments
  • Annually about 100 graduates with master’s or doctoral degree and 300 graduates with bachelor’s come into the market, and only 26% of them are being hired in aviation-related companies or research organizations
Division Category 2015 2016 2017(forecast)
Aircraft General management 2,402 2,758 2,782
R&D 2,747 3,332 3,752
Technical work 3,322 2,571 2,558
production work 4,326 5,102 4,884
Subtotal 12,797 13,763 13,976
Space General management 63 125 123
R&D 312 444 473
Technical work 19 49 52
production work 17 33 36
Subtotal 411 651 684
total 13,208 14,414 14,660

Note : MRO manpower and government research institute researcher are not included

  • Aircraft(11,895 people)


  • Space(512 people)


  • Employed: About 12,000 people

    ※ MRO manpower and government research institute researcher are not included

Infrastructure by Region


Note : The Korean government(The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) announced that the Aerospace Industry Specialized Complex in Sacheon will be created as a national industrial complex covering Sacheon & Jinju in Gyeongsangnam-do Province(Over 80% of domestic aerospace companies are located) by 2020.

Vision of the Korean aerospace industry
블릿 Basic plan for the development of aircraft industry
  • The Korean aerospace industry is expected to grow every year. Based on the "Basic Plan for the Development of Aviation Industry," a blueprint which aims to place Korea among the top 7 global position by 2020, existing projects will continue to grow while new projects will be seamlessly launched in series.

    The KF-X and LAH/LCH (Light Armed Helicopter/Light Civil Helicopter) projects and other major programs are already on its development since 2015.

    In addition, major aerospace projects bring added value and revolution in the industry such as T-50A’s bid to the US APT program in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, KUH-1 Surion based helicopter variant program, commercial aircraft parats research and development, next generation medium-class satellite program, KOMPSAT-6 (multi purpose satellite), KSLV-Ⅱ (Korea Space Launch Vehicle), Lunar Exploration, UAV program, etc

    Successful completion of such projects will lead Korea to become G7 or one of the powerhouse in the aviation industry.