The U.S. State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of six P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft requested by the Republic of Korea government, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 13 September.
According to the Reuters, the U.S. State Department has approved possible military sales worth $2.6 billion to South Korea, including six P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
The Boeing-made Poseidon aircraft, which are used for hunting submarines and conducting maritime reconnaissance, is worth up to $2.1 billion, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.
The DSCA noted that the Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy 6 P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes: 9 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) one for each aircraft, one for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two as spares); 14 LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs); and 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors.
Also included are commercial engines; Tactical Open Mission Software (TOMS); Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IO) MX-20HD; AN/AAQ-2(V)1 Acoustic System; AN/APY-10 Radar; ALQ-240 Electronic Support Measures; AN/ALE-47 Counter Measures Dispensing System; support equipment; operation support systems; maintenance trainer/classrooms; publications; software, engineering, and logistics technical assistance; foreign liaison officer support; contractor engineering technical services; repair and return; transportation; aircraft ferry; and other associated training, logistics, support equipment and services.
The ROK procured and has operated U.S.-produced P-3 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) for over 25 years, providing interoperability and critical capabilities to coalition maritime operations. The ROK has maintained a close MSA acquisition and sustainment relationship with the U.S. Navy over that period. The proposed sale will allow the ROK to modernize and sustain its MSA capability for the next 30 years. As a long-time P-3 operator, the ROK will have no difficulty transitioning its MSA force to P-8A.
The P-8 is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It is capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is also effective at humanitarian and search and rescue missions. A derivative of the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battle space.