US approves possible sale of SM-2 Block IIIB missiles to Korea

22 May 2019 (Last Updated May 22nd, 2019 11:00)

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of up to 94 rounds of SM-2 Block IIIB standard missiles and associated equipment to the Republic of Korea (ROK). 

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of up to 94 rounds of SM-2 Block IIIB standard missiles and associated equipment to the Republic of Korea (ROK).

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of this possible foreign military sale, which is valued at around $313.9m.

Subject to clearance from Congress, the sale will include 12 MK 97 MoD 0 guidance sections for SM-2 Block IIIB, training and training equipment, publication and technical data, as well as related logistics support.

In a statement, the DSCA said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by meeting the legitimate security and defence needs of one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theatre.

“The Republic of Korea is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the US in ensuring peace and stability in that region.”

Seoul has requested the SM-2 Block IIIB weapon systems to supplement the ROK Navy’s existing inventory.

Alongside providing a defensive capability, the purchase will help increase the navy’s interoperability with the US and other allied forces.

“The UK’s Sea Viper air missile defence system comprises the Sampson radar and the Aster missile system.”

Raytheon Missile Systems will serve as the prime contractor for the programme.

In July 2016, the US approved a sale of 17 SM-2 Block IIIB standard missiles and 17 SM-2 missile containers to South Korea.

SM-2 is a fleet-area air defence weapon that can provide anti-air anti-surface capabilities against anti-ship missiles and an aircraft.

The missile is used by the US Navy and the navies of allied countries fleet air defence and ship self-defence.