Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 588 Mutual Cooperation 1

588 Mutual Cooperation 1

Wondering about what the director of the Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration was up to that could help the development of both countries, Youngho asked Suh Min-seok to research upon any news about the Korean defense department.
"Your Highness, there's not much news about developing a new weapon, but only that Sweden's Saab Airlines is currently competing with the U.S. company regarding the order of South Korea's Navy patrol aircraft."
Saab was a company that produced Gripen, which was now the main aircraft of the Kazakh Air Force. It was also a company that the Information Agency held a major stake of. Since Youngho was also a major shareholder of the Information Agency, this meant that he was also a shareholder of Saab.
"Saab is going to supply naval patrol aircraft to Korea?"
"Yes, it has offered a lower price than Boeing in the U.S. The Korean government seems to be weighing the two companies now."
"Hmmm… Okay, is there any other news?"
"I'll try to find out more, but don't expect too much. These days, even web surfing can tell us all about each country's new weapons development."
Suh Min-seok was both right and wrong.
Sometimes, arms companies would openly advertise their missile range improvement or newly developed battleships on purpose so that anyone could see it. It was to show off that they could make a lot of such as well. In the case of Korea, even if there were new weapons developed, there was a high possibility that it would hide from neighboring countries.
Only when you have power, you have power in your voice.
Without power, many people cannot be treated properly even when they go abroad.
Whatever it was, Youngho was eager to meet the Korean director and find out what he was going to say because he had a hunch that something revolutionary would emerge.
Korea's high technology level could make amazing weapons, after all.
The royal territory had been developing laser guns, which advanced countries were already using in fields, for several years, but they were still in limbo.
The laser gun, currently being tested, consumed 150 kilowatts of electricity per shot. This was enough to destroy even small boats and unmanned aircraft. However, only when the power could be raised to at least 300 kilowatts had the power to shoot down a missile moving at high speed.
In other words, it was a weapon that could intercept all incoming objects and neutralize them beyond the scope of targets. Laser weapons were more than 5,000 times the speed of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Although the cost of its equipment was expensive, maintenance costs were almost zero once installed, and the process from detection to launch was quite easy.
Not long ago, the U.S. and Russia announced that they had already deployed laser guns in action, making Youngho's mind more frustrated. The U.S. Navy even released footage of laser missile system operation on landing ships.
With the advent of the laser gun, the Zircon, with a speed of Mach 8 developed by Putin over two decades, had become nothing more than a toy.

The U.S. laser gun system cost 40 million dollars and it boasted of a cheap price about a dollar for each shot fired. Russia then announced that it would mount a laser gun on its latest fighter jet to be sold to Egypt.
Given this situation, Youngho's mind was busy as he knew the laser guns would dominate the battlefields of the future.
***
"Your Grace, Korea has developed the world's first technology to bend light at will."
Suh Min-seok brought Youngho news about Korea's new technology.
"You can control the direction of the light at will? Do you mean that a straight line laser can be curved?"
"Yes, that's right. The technology is currently used in the medical field, including ophthalmology."
It was awakening news.
If a laser gun that moved only in a straight line could bend, it could neutralize an enemy's camp that was hiding. Weapons with such technology applied would be the most powerful among other arms.
Could this be the reason why the head of the Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration wanted to see him? Kazakhstan could develop any weapon without considering other powerful nations, so there was no reason for anyone to quarrel if Korea said that it imported finished weapons from Kazakhstan. South Korea's weapons were being controlled by the U.S., even its missile range, and the government would have thought of using Kazakhstan as an excuse.
Youngho, who was swelled to imagine that, was now planning to step into South Korea's maritime patrol aircraft acquisition project.
"Lord Eriksson, Korea is looking for companies to buy maritime patrol aircraft, and Saab of Sweden and Boeing of the United States are competing with each other to get this order. I'd prefer Saab to get the business. Is there any way to assure that?"
"If so, of course you should step in. You're a major shareholder."
Eriksson was busy for a while, making calls to Sweden, and soon found out about the situation.
"Your Grace, the Korean government is buying 1.7 billion-dollar worth of patrol aircraft, but Saab has offered to supply 10 more aircrafts than Boeing at the price."
"Then Saab is likely to get the job."
"I don't think so. Korea has been purchasing U.S. weapons traditionally to buy U.S. favor because of U.S. troops in Korea. And most of all, Boeing's patrol aircraft is considered the best in the world, so it's unlikely that Korea will take Saab's offer."
"Really? Then let's do this. The Korean government would be interested if we show our intention to have a technology partnership. Can you see if the Korean government might be intrigued by our suggestion? I'll also make calls."
The Korean government, which was desperate about original technologies of the defense industry, would favor companies that promised technology transfer.
No matter how great Boeing's patrol aircraft was, Saab had been producing airplanes since the 1930s and was now a defense company recognized globally.
It also produced submarines, so Saab understood weaknesses of submarines, and its maritime patrol aircraft evolved to effectively detect other submarines, so the company was not far behind Boeing.
It had already been proven that Saab's fighter jets performed brilliantly in World War I and II.
It was better to have ten Saab patrol planes floating than to having six Boeing patrol planes in South Korea, which had three sides of the sea to protect.
"It'll be easy if Your Highness actively come forward in this matter. Meanwhile, I'll see Saab can have a technical partnership with Korea."
"The head of Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration will visit soon. Before that, we'll have to propose a technical partnership. The head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration will know our intention if he heard about the partnership."
"I will then make the technology partnership with Saab a work of yours. We should also let the Korean government know that you're a major shareholder of Saab."
"Is there a need to open that?"
"Of course. The Korean soldiers would be proud to know that you, another Korean, runs a country that can stand tall against other powers. There is no such leader in Korea. Most of Koreans will be surprised to find out that you're a major shareholder of a global defense company. They will probably want to come to work in Kazakhstan as well."
When Youngho tried to mobilize Saab in the hope of getting a new technology, Eriksson was thinking about promoting it in a different way. Youngho did not want to be promoted or praised that way, but if promoting him could be of use in getting the partnership, it would be a good idea after all. The more favorable Kazakhstan was, the more young talent would come from Korea. The skills of Korean non-technical officers were as good as those of experts.
***
The Korean government accepted the technology partnership offered by Saab Airlines.
The company did not lag far behind Boeing in price-to-performance, and also liked the irresistible condition of technology tie-up.
Most of all, the fact that Youngho was a major shareholder of Saab played a major part.
When it was revealed that a major shareholder of a global defense company was Youngho, the Korean media was fast to draw a public opinion.
Officials involved in the selection of maritime patrol aircraft, let alone other conditions, could not ignore public pressure. Because they already knew the products of both companies, and they were leaning towards the public opinion, Saab was able to be chosen as the supplier of the patrol aircraft without any trouble.
The media had been talking about Saab as if it were owned by the Kazakh royal family.
"The Korean press seems to be going too far, and I'm afraid Saab's leadership is going to be upset with me."
"I think Saab's officials are more than happy about it since they got the job. Maybe they're clapping their hands while watching the news."
Eriksson was right to say so.
Due to its image as a company that the Kazakh royal family invested in, its stock prices had been rising everyday. The reason was that just the stable possession of raw materials by a defense industry company would attract attention from institutional investors.
"That's a good thing."
"The world is now in a war of resources. How hard are global companies working to secure resources? It's like you've given power to Saab now because Saab's relationship with you was revealed by the Korean media. You'll see. Sooner or later, Saab's staff will come to thank you."