Rafael and Lockheed Martin have emerged as the victors in a battle with Rockwell to provide the South Korean air force with a stand-off missile for its Lockheed Martin F-16 and McDonnell Douglas F-4Phantom aircraft.

Following a two-year evaluation, the air force has selected the AGM-142 variant of the Rafael Popeye stand-off weapon in preference to the AGM-130. The deal with Rafael and Lockheed Martin is estimated to be worth around $120 million.

South Korea will purchase the Israeli missile from a jointly owned Rafael/Lockheed Martin production plant in the USA. The acquisition will be funded through the US Department of Defense's Foreign Military Sales arrangement.

The air force is purchasing two variants of the television-guided AGM-142 - the standard 1,360kg weapon for the F-4, as well as the lighter AGM-142B, or Popeye 2, for its F-16s. Deliveries of the missiles will begin two years after the contract is signed.

Source: Flight International