South Korea seeks AH-1Z and AH-64D helicopters from US
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified US Congress of two potential foreign military sales (FMS) of AH-1Z Cobra and AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III attack helicopters and associated support equipment to South Korea.
Under an estimated $2.6bn sale, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested delivery of 36 Cobra helicopters and 84 T-700 GE 401C engines, 288 AGM-114K3 Hellfire missiles, 72 AIM-9M-8 Sidewinder missiles, integrated missile launchers, and AN/ALQ-136 radar frequency jammers.
Additional deliveries include electronic warfare equipment include the AN/AAR-47 Missile warning system, AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer, APX-123 identify friend or foe (IFF) Mode-4 and AN/ALE-47 chaff and flare decoy dispenser.
In a separate $3.6bn FMS sale, ROK's requests include supply of 36 Apache Longbow Block III helicopters, 84 T-700-GE-701D engines, 42 modernised target acquisition and designation sight/modernised pilot night vision sensors, as well as 36 AN/APG-78 fire control radars (FCR) with radar electronics units.
Additional equipment requested comprises 43 AAR-57(V) 3/5 common missile warning systems (CMWS) with 5th sensor and improved countermeasure dispensers, 120 improved helmet display sight systems (IHDSS-21), 38 30mm automatic chain guns, and 90 AN/ARC-201E SINCGARS and AN/ARC-231 radios.
The Cobra helicopters are expected to enhance the ROK Army's close air support and interdiction, armed and strike coordination/reconnaissance, and aerial escort capabilities to improve interoperability with US forces.
Apache helicopters will be used by ROK's military for protection of the country's borders and littoral waters, as well as to carrying out counter-terrorism/counter-piracy operations.
Suppliers for the Cobra helicopters include Bell-Textron and General Electric, while Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Lockheed Martin Millimeter Technology and Longbow Limited Liability will serve as prime contractors for the second programme.
Image: Two US Army AH-64 Apaches take off in Iraq. Photo: courtesy of jamesdale10.