The United States has approved South Korea’s request to procure 12 Lockheed Martin MH-60R anti-submarine warfare helicopters and related support for $800 million.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters with support for an estimated cost of $800 million,” Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement Wednesday.
On July 30, the State Department green signalled Seoul’s request to provide Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for its fleet of Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Block 30 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPS) for $950 million.
The Republic of Korea had requested to buy twelve (12) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, equipped with the following: thirteen (13) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode Radars (12 installed, 1 spare); twenty-five (25) T-700-GE-401C Engines (24 installed, 1 spare); twelve (12) Airborne Low Frequency Sonar Systems (ALFS) (12 installed); thirteen (13) AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (12 installed, 1 spare); twenty-four (24) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (24 installed); twelve (12) Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade Two Terminals; four (4) M-240D crew served guns; four (4) GAU-21 crew served guns; and one thousand (1,000) AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys.
Also included are twenty-four (24) AN/ARC-210 RT-1990A(C) radios with Communications Security (COMSEC); twenty (20) AN/ARC-220 High Frequency radios; twenty (20) AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; spare engine containers; facilities study; design and construction; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communications equipment; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea Navy’s capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay, DSCA statement said.
MH-60R Seahawk missions are anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance, communications relay, combat search and rescue, naval gunfire support and logistics support.
The MH-60R airframe is based on that of the Sikorsky S-70B, a venerable but ageing naval helicopter. It comes with the latest generation cockpit and avionics, and changes to its tail-wheel to ease handling on a ship deck. The aircraft comes with a variety of sensors and weapons including the potent MK54 torpedo that can take out both ships and submarines.