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08:20 AM, November 8, 2017
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South Korea currently uses AW159 anti-submarine helicopters

South Korea plans to purchase 12 anti-submarine warfare helicopters for $780 million of which it wants the foreign contract to part with technology or other benefits worth $400 million.

"(We) plan to push for an offset package with the size of around $400 million," the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) was quoted by Yonhap Wednesday, as it began a search for domestic firms to join the program.

If selected, they will receive technology transfer or military equipment export support in the envisioned quid pro quo agreement, the news agency reported.

South Korea has already bought eight AW-159 shipborne anti-submarine helicopters, also known as Wildcats.

The agency plans to open a bid for the acquisition project next year so that the Navy can deploy new choppers starting in 2020.

Leonardo Helicopters, the manufacturer of the AW-159, hopes for a repeat order. Other candidate models include Sikorsky's MH-60R and NHIndustries' NH-90.

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