South Korea will acquire 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets in a possible US$5.06 billion foreign military sale approved by the US State Department.
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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) advised the US Congress of the possible sale for aircraft and equipment on 13 September.
The sale to the Republic of Korea includes 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter conventional take-off and landing aircraft, 26 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines, AN/PYQ-10 simple key loaders, KIV-78 cryptographic appliques, electronic warfare reprogramming lab support, cartridge actuated devices/propellant actuated devices, contractor logistics support, aircraft and munitions support, spare parts, classified software delivery, and support.
“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 Indo-Pacific region,” according to the DSCA statement.
“The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing credible defence capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with US forces.
“The proposed sale will augment Korea’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defence capability. Korea already has F-35s in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.”
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Pratt & Whitney Military Engines will be the principal contractors.
In other news, F-35s are now operating from 31 bases worldwide with the first four locally-based F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft having landed on home soil at the Royal Danish Air Force’s Fighter Wing Skrydstrup on 14 September.
The Royal Danish Air Force has so far received 10 aircraft to date and is scheduled to operate 27 F-35A aircraft. Six aircraft remain at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to support international cooperative F-35 training operations.
“As newly appointed Defense Industrial Attaché, it is a privilege to oversee the first aircraft ferry of Denmark’s new F-35 Lightning II,” said His Royal Highness Brigadier General Prince Joachim of Denmark.
“The F-35 is a huge step forward in technology. The arrival of the F-35 provides Denmark and the Danish Armed Forces a beacon to transform the armed forces to fifth generation.
“It is a pleasure to note that this unique piece of military hardware also holds Danish industrial components and is testimony to the close ties between the United States and Denmark.”