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​Seoul gears up for ASW helicopter competition

Seoul plans to issue a request for proposals in May for 12 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters under its Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH) competition.

The country’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has allocated $780 million for the project, and aims for the aircraft to reach the fleet by 2022.

The competition will assess technical attributes of bidders and arrive at a preferred bidder.

The first MOH was won by the Leonardo Helicopters (then AgustaWestland) AW159 in 2013, for an eight helicopter requirement.

Possible bidders for the new requirement are likely to include the AW159, Sikorsky’s MH-60R, and the NH Industries NH-90.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the South Korean navy has 56 assets dedicated the ASW and maritime patrol mission. This includes the eight AW159s, 24 Lynx rotorcraft, eight UH-60Ps, and 16 P-3C Orions.

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