SOUTH Korea’s arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) approved a plan for the acquisition of new maritime operations helicopters to replace the aging Westland Lynx helicopters serving in the South Korean military. The USD2.23 billion basic strategic plan was endorsed by the Defense Project Promotion Committee and is anticipated to beef up the Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface ship warfare (ASuW) capabilities to counter threats posed by North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). According to a defence official, the main contenders for the project are Lockheed Martin with the MH-60R and NHIndustries which makes the NH-90.
Next, the committee also rubber-stamped a USD562 million basic plan to buy new command helicopters between 2025 and 2030 as well as a USD676 million basic development plan to upgrade the capabilities of the UH-60 and HH-60 special operations helicopters from 2025 to 2030.
Furthermore, a strategic plan valued at USD449 million to develop a short-range air-to-air missile (AAM) to arm the indigenous Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter jet was also approved. shp/adj/dl (Pix:ROK Navy)