US Approves Possible Military Sales Worth $2.6 Billion To South Korea

Blanche Robertson
September 16, 2018

The United States on Thursday approved a new arms sale to South Korea worth US$2.6 billion (RM10.8 billion), with denuclearisation talks stalled between Washington and the North.

The Boeing-made Poseidon aircraft, which are used for hunting submarines and conducting maritime reconnaissance, is worth up to $2.1 billion, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.

The Republic of Korea requested 64 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missiles.

The ROK procured and has operated USA -produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations.

The ROK has operated USA manufactured P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft for decades, with the P-8A gradually replacing allied fleets.

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The new aircraft, if bought, will help modernize and sustain South Korea's maritime surveillance aircraft capability for the next 30 years, according to the DSCA.

"The proposed sale will support USA foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea's naval capabilities to provide national defence and significantly contribute to coalition operations", CNN quoted the Department as saying on Thursday.

South Korea said in February that it would procure from overseas new maritime patrol aircraft with stronger anti-submarine capabilities to better respond to the threat of North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles. "The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the [South Korean] military to guard against hostile aggression and shield the allies who train and operate within South Korea's borders".

Boeing is the prime contractor on the P-8 aircraft sale, and Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor on the Patriot sale.

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