Arms Trade

State Department Approves Weapon Sales to South Korea

State Department Approves

P-8A Poseidon aircraft takes off from a Boeing facility in Seattle, Washington.

The U.S. State Department authorized sales to South Korea, including six P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft and 64 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

The P-8 deal includes a potential cost of $2.1 billion, as the Patriot weapons cost $501 million, a $2.6 billion overall deal for American military contractors.

The potential sales were announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Sept. 13. All DSCA notification usually are not final; if cleared by the Senate, procurement quantities and charges can certainly still change in final negotiations.

If completed, the sales would boost South Korea’s military with capabilities aimed directly at Seoul’s two most concerning neighbors in North Korea, always of concern, and China, that is increasing its military submarine fleet.

Included in the P-8 package are nine Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems; 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors; and assorted engines, Electro-Optical acoustic systems, counter measures and software.

“The ROK procured and contains operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for upwards of two-and-a-half decades, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations,” the DSCA wrote.

“The ROK has maintained an in depth MSA acquisition and sustainment relationship with all the U.S. Navy over that period. The proposed sale enables the ROK to modernize and sustain its MSA capability for the following three decades. As a long-time P-3 operator, the ROK will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to P-8A.”

Primary work will probably be produced by Boeing in Seattle, though the DSCA solicit includes an unusually detailed breakdown of sub-tier suppliers. Listed through the agency are ASEC; Air Cruisers Co LLC; Arnprior Aerospace, Canada; AVOX Zodiac Aerospace; BAE; Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)/EMS; Compass; David Clark; DLS or ViaSat, Carlsbad, CA; DRS; Exelis, McLean, VA; GC Micro, Petaluma, CA; General Dynamics; General Electric, UK; Harris; Joint Electronics; Lockheed Martin; Martin Baker; Northrop Grumman Corp, Falls Church, VA; Pole Zero, Cincinnati, OH; Raytheon, Waltham, MA; Raytheon, UK; Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA; Spirit Aero, Wichita, KS; Symmetries Telephonics, Farmingdale, NY; Terma, Arlington, VA; Viking; and WESCAM.

As for your Patriot missiles, Lockheed Martin could be the primary contractor.

“The ROK make use of the Patriot missile system to enhance its missile defense capability, defend its territorial integrity and deter threats to regional stability,” the DSCA notes. “The proposed sale will raise the defensive capabilities of the ROK Military to shield against hostile aggression and shield the allies who train and operate within South Korea’s borders. The ROK shouldn’t have any difficulty absorbing this technique into its soldiers.”

From FY 2013-2017, South Korea purchased greater than $13 billion in defense articles, training and services, per a DSCA factsheet.

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