The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale of CH-47D Chinook helicopters and associated equipment to the Republic of Korea (ROK).
Under the estimated $151m sale, South Korea has requested supply of a total of 14 CH-47D model aircraft, including T55-GA-714A engines, two per aircraft, five T55-GA-714A turbine for use as spares, 16 AN/ARC-220 high frequency (HF) radios, 32 AN/ARC-186 very high-frequency (VHF) AM/FM radios.
Additional equipment in the package includes 16 AN/ARN 123 very high-frequency (VHF) omnidirectional range (VOR) instrument landing system marker beacons, 14 AN/ARN-154(V) tactical air navigation (TACAN) system, 16 AN/ARC-201D or AN/ARC-201E VHF FM homing radios, 16 AN/APN-209D radar altimeters and 16 AN/ASN-43 gyro-magnetic compasses.
South Korea also requested for mission equipment, communication and navigation equipment, ground support equipment, special tools and test equipment, spares, publications, maintenance work orders/engineering change proposals (MWO/ECP), as well as technical support and training.
The proposed acquisition will improve South Korea’s ability to address existing and future requirements for troop movement, medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, disaster relief, fire-fighting and heavy construction support.
The purchase will also strengthen the country’s homeland defence, deter regional threats and improve humanitarian and disaster mobilisation and response.
The helicopters considered for the sale are currently operated by US Forces Korea (USFK) in South Korea, and are scheduled to be sold and transferred to the ROK incrementally once USFK starts receiving new-production CH-47F model aircraft, which is expected to commence in January 2014.
The potential sale will help the US Army save approximately $13.4m in transportation and/or demilitarisation costs.
Boeing has been named as the prime contractor for the FMS programme, which is consistent with the US strategic interests for stability in the Pacific command area of operations.
Image: CH-47D Chinook preparing to sling load a Humvee in Bagram, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of Sgt. Sandra Watkins.