South Korea details $1.6bn Apache contract

Washington DC
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South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration has detailed its order for 36 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, with the $1.6 billion acquisition to be made via the US government's Foreign Military Sales mechanism.

"This purchase by the Koreans means continued interoperability at the highest level, and it may also have an economies of scale benefit for the US Army if we are also purchasing this model," says Col Stephen Smith, the US Army Security Assistance Command's regional director for the Pacific.

The sale also includes 74 General Electric T700-701D turboshaft engines, six Lockheed Martin APG-78 Longbow fire control radars, 288 Lockheed AGM-114R1 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 63 Raytheon Block I 92H Stinger air-to-air missiles. Seoul will also obtain more than 80,000 cannon rounds and over 11,000 unguided rockets as part of the deal, which includes spare parts and accessories.

The US Army notes that in addition to equipment to be used for directly supporting the aircraft, the programme will provide simulators and other support equipment, including wheeled vehicles.