The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified US Congress of a possible foreign military sale of eight MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission helicopters to South Korea.
The estimated $1bn foreign military sale (FMS) programme also includes options for associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support.
The proposed package includes 18 T-700 GE 401C Engines, of which 16 will be used for installation purpose, while the remaining two will be spares, communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, support equipment, spare engine containers, spare and repair parts, in addition to tools and testing equipment.
Additional support requested along with the sale includes technical data and publications, personnel training and equipment, technical and logistics support services, as well as other related elements of logistics and programme support.
The potential sale will not only enable South Korea to maintain self-defence capabilities against current and future enemy anti-surface warfare (ASW) threats, but also enhance interoperability with the US naval forces and add military stability in the region.
Sikorsky Aircraft, Lockheed Martin and General Electric will serve as prime contractors.
The Sikorsky-built MH-60R helicopter is equipped with sensors, which includes surface radar and a forward looking infrared camera; it is also fitted with tactical data links to help support the host ship to operate over the horizon operations.
Designed to serve as a primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system, the advanced maritime helicopter MH-60R Seahawk can be engaged from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers in littoral zones.
The aircraft can also be used to support missions, such as combat search and rescue, vertical replenishment and airborne mine countermeasures.
The Seahawk multi-mission helicopter will be replacing the existing SH-60B and SH-60F helicopters in the US Navy fleet.
Image: A US Navy MH-60R helicopter conducts airborne low frequency sonar operation at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.