The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of Patriot advanced capability (PAC-3) missiles and associated equipment to South Korea.
Under the estimated $1.405bn sale, South Korea has requested 136 PAC-3 missiles, along with containers and two flight-test targets such as Patriot-As-A-Target (PAAT) modified short-range tactical ballistic missiles.
The package also includes two PAC-3 telemetry kits, ten fire-solution computers, 18 launcher stations modification kits, eight missile round trainers, eight PAC-3 slings and ten patriot automated logistics system kits, as well as 13 installation kits for TPX-58 identification friend-or-foe with KIV-77 and PAC-3 ground support equipment.
Additional equipment includes ten shorting plugs, 77 defence advanced global positioning receivers and installation kits, Patriot fibre-optic modem, eight guided-missile transporters, four AN/VRC-90E radios with installation kits, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, as well as other related elements of logistics and programme support.
Approved by the US State Department, the sale will provide South Korea with the capability to defeat lower-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) threats, and will decrease its reliance on the deployment of US combat forces to maintain stability in the region.
In particular, it will improve interoperability between South Korea's ground and sea-based (Aegis) BMD forces and US Forces Korea, improving the national security of both Seoul and the security of US soldiers deployed in the country.
In addition to conducting and sustaining BMD operations, the PAC-3 missiles are also expected to serve as a core component to Seoul's future Korea Air Missile Defence (KAMD).
The sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by meeting the legitimate security and defence needs of South Korea, which serves as a key partner in ensuring peace and stability in East Asia and the Western Pacific region.
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control have been named as the principal contractors for the FMS programme.
Image: A US soldier performs a maintenance check on a PAC-3 missile launcher in Osan, South Korea. Photo: courtesy of Lyta79.