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S. Korea to import advanced maritime patrol aircraft

2018/02/07 18:31

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SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense authorities decided Wednesday to purchase improved anti-submarine warfare capabilities from a foreign contractor.

The decision was made at a meeting of the arms acquisition program committee. It's aimed at responding to a change in security conditions, including North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) threats, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

South Korea's Navy wants to introduce six more patrol aircraft to the 16 P-3C and P-3CK Orion planes already in service.

The DAPA, however, did not disclose the number of planes it would buy or the exact timing.

Boeing's P-8 Poseidon and Saab's Swordfish are reportedly among candidate models.

The military also plans to purchase additional PAC-3 Patriot guided missiles from the United States in a Foreign Military Sale manner.

"(We) are scheduled to sign a contract in the latter half of this year," said the DAPA.

Once the guided interceptors are deployed, it will significantly improve the ballistic missile defense capabilities for residents in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province and major military facilities in the region, added the DAPA.

lcd@yna.co.kr

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