The US State Department has made a determination the sale to the Republic of Korea of six P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.10 billion.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today:
“The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy six (6) P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes: nine (9) Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) (one (1) for each aircraft, one (1) for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two (2) as spares); fourteen (14) LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs) (two (2) for each aircraft and two (2) as spares); and forty-two (42) AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors (six (6) for each aircraft and six (6) as spares).
Also included are commercial engines; Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS); Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD; AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System; AN/APY-10 Radar; ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures; AN/ALE-47 Counter Measures Dispensing System; support equipment; operation support systems; maintenance trainer/classrooms; publications; software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; foreign liaison officer support; contractor engineering technical services; repair and return; transportation; aircraft ferry; and other associated training, logistics, support equipment and services.”
The total estimated program cost is $2.1 billion.
The US State Department say in a release that South Korea has procured and operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations.
The proposed sale will allow the country to modernise and sustain its capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, the nation will have no difficulty transitioning its forces to P-8A.