South Korea has deployed four of its latest Wildcat maritime helicopters to better detect North Korean submarines equipped with ballistic missiles.
The new choppers, made by British helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland, will greatly enhance the Navy's capabilities to detect North Korean submarines equipped with submarine launched ballistic missiles, a Navy official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency today.
The choppers were deployed in a drill aimed at enhancing its capability to detect and attack enemy submarines. The maritime exercise begins on the day around Geoje Island, off South Korea's southeastern coast.
The four rotary aircrafts are part of eight AugustaWestland's AW-159 Wildcat helicopters that were delivered to the Navy last year.
The helicopters were supplied as part of the military's broader plan to add a total of 20 new maritime choppers to its fleet by 2022.
The remaining four are to be employed for mock training drills from July after undergoing training and testing programs for pilots and engineers, it said.
In 2013, the South Korean Navy picked the Wildcat chopper over the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, manufactured by U.S. company Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. as its new multi-mission maritime helicopter.
The introduction of the helicopters had been delayed as several military officials including former Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, ex-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were involved in a bribery scandal.