Arms sales to South Korea approved by State Department

Sept. 14 (UPI) — The State Department has approved a possible sale to the Republic of Korea of six P-8A maritime patrol aircraft for $2.1 billion, as well as 64 Patriot PAC-3 missiles for $501 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the approval of both sales earlier this week.

The Republic of Korea request includes nine Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 to supply each P-8A aircraft, one for the Tactical Operations Center with two spares, fourteen LN-251 GPS/Inertial navigation systems and 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors.

The sale also includes commercial engines, Tactical Open Mission Software, Electro-Optical and Infrared MX-20HD systems, AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic Systems, AN/APY-10 Radars, ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures, AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems and associated logistics and support.

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

Also approved is the sale of the Patriot PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement ballistic missile defense system. The sale is estimated to reach $501 million.

The proposed sale includes 64 missiles, two test missiles, training, spares and support equipment.

The ROK is a key ally in the INDOPACOM theater, according to the State Department. The proposed sale will support U.S. national security by improving Korea’s naval capabilities for coalition operations.

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