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South Korea eyes multibillion-dollar CH-47F Chinook order

South Korea eyes multibillion-dollar CH-47F Chinook order

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of a fleet of the heavy-lift helicopters to South Korea.

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of a fleet of the heavy-lift helicopters to South Korea.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced the approval of a potential sale of 18 Boeing-built CH-47F Chinook helicopters to the Republic of Korea (ROK) for an estimated US$1.5 billion (AU$2.2 billion).

The deal includes the provision of:

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  • 42 T55-GA-714A engines;
  • 22 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); and
  • 44 secure radios, RT-1987 (36 installed, 8 spares).

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia- Pacific region,” the DSCA noted in a statement.

“The proposed sale will improve the ROK’s capability to meet current and future threats by strengthening its Army heavy-lift capability.”

According to the US government agency, the prospective fleet would enable South Korea to conduct missions in support of “bilateral operational plans”, which include medical evacuation, search and rescue, parachute drops, and disaster relief.

South Korea is the latest country to place a purchase request for the Chinook platform.

In June, the German Ministry of Defence placed an order for 60 Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to replace its Lockheed Martin-built CH-53 Sea Stallion fleet.

The deal is reportedly valued at €4 billion (AU$6 billion), with delivery expected to take place from 2023 to 2029.

The Australian Army recently bolstered its own fleet of CH-47F Chinook helicopters, ordering four additional aircraft, purchased via a foreign military sales agreement for approximately $595 million.

RAAF Base Townsville accepted two additional Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters in June this year, taking the total size of the Australian Army Aviation Command’s CH-47F Chinook medium-lift helicopter fleet to 14.

[Related: New CH-47F Chinooks to touch down in Townsville]

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