Approves possible military sales worth $2.6 billion to South Korea: Pentagon

Approves possible military sales worth $2.6 billion to South Korea: Pentagon

The U.S. State Department on Thursday said it supported the sale of six Boeing Co P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft to South Korea for an estimated $2.10 billion and had notified Congress of its decision.

"The proposed sale will support USA foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Korea's naval capabilities to provide national defense and significantly contribute to coalition operations", it added.

Six Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft worth US$2.1 billion form the bulk of the sale, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

The DSCA noted that the Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested to buy 6 P-8A Patrol Aircraft, which includes: 9 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems 5 (MIDS JTRS 5) one for each aircraft, one for the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and two as spares); 14 LN-251 with Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS)/Inertial Navigations Systems (EGIs); and 42 AN/AAR-54 Missile Warning Sensors.

The P-8 is an aircraft designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

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Thursday's announcement comes as the U.S. and allies are days away from launching a new effort to "name and shame" North Korea by publicly exposing violations of sanctions aimed at curbing its nuclear and missile programmes, defence officials told CNN. INDOPACOM is an abbreviation for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

And the missile system would be used to improve South Korea's missile defense capability, defend its territorial integrity and deter threats to regional stability, the agency said.

"The proposed sale of this equipment and support does not alter the basic military balance in the region".

South Korea and the USA have been allied against possible aggression from North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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