The Korean National Assembly has recommended that its government re-examine plan to buy European long-range air-to-ground missiles and high-altitude surveillance aircraft from the United States, citing too high price tags, according to the Korea Herald.
The defense acquisition plan to buy Taurus missiles and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles should be "reviewed again in a (future) parliamentary budget deliberation process ... as the plan is likely to stir up controversies over the expenses," the budget analysis report by the National Assembly's Budget Office said.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration has been trying to buy 170 Taurus missiles from Taurus System – a German-Swedish joint venture.
The Taurus cruise missiles have a range of 500 kilometers and could reach as far as North Korea's capital city of Pyongyang even when shot from the central part of South Korea.
The parliamentary report said the country first set aside 221.3 billion won (US$194.14 million) for the missile acquisition plan and increased it to 411.9 billion won. But the Taurus manufacturer proposed a price tag of 568.8 billion won in 2011, and the price is likely to go up further given that the South Korean government is leading the deal through a private contract, not a competitive auction, the newspaper report added.
DAPA was advised by the Budget Office to spend limited amount when the time for future price negotiations came.
The Budget Office report also said the government will have to reconsider its plan to purchase made-in-America Global Hawk missiles, a high-altitude unmanned aerial surveillance aircraft.
The parliament earmarked a total of 485.4 billion won for the plan to introduce the surveillance vehicles by 2017, but the price tag the U.S. proposed in April amounts to 880 billion won, it said.
As it is difficult to proceed with the plan, the procurement agency is advised to review the plan again with help from the state-run Agency for Defense Development, which is now leading a project to develop a medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle, the report concluded.