28 October 2013
The South Korean government has notified the US of its intention to buy 112 PAC-2 missiles to increase interception capability.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees overseas sales of US military hardware, sent a report to congress on Sept. 12 saying that the South Korean government had inquired as to whether it could buy 112 Patriot anti-tactical missiles, as well as related equipment and parts, training, and logistic support.
The agency said the transaction was being handled through a foreign military sales (FMS) intergovernmental contract for an estimated US$404 million, or about 444 billion won. If completed, the contract would upgrade the missiles to the guidance enhanced missile TBM (GEM-T) through a direct commercial sale (DCS) between the manufacturer, Raytheon, and the South Korean government.
“These weapons are improved versions of the PAC-2 missiles that make up South Korea’s major interception missile network,” explained an official at the South Korean embassy in Washington on condition of anonymity. “We were inquiring with the US about the price and the possibility of a sale.”
The official added that the total quoted in the report was not the actual sales price, but a maximum calculation.
An official with South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration confirmed the request for the US’s approval of a sale, but added, “We haven’t gotten an answer yet because [the decision on a sale] still has to go through Congress.”
“At the moment, it’s just in the preliminary stages,” the official added. “Our National Assembly hasn’t passed the budget either, and the defense project committee hasn’t discussed the project plan.”
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