The exact value of the contract is yet to be determined, although the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) had stated its determination to purchase 8 new helicopters for 589 billion South Korean won or roughly $554.1 million.
The US Congress had earlier been notified of a possible sale to South Korea of 8 MH-60R helicopters with related parts, equipment, training and logistical support for an estimated $1 billion.
The 19.76 m long MH-60R helicopter has a onboard data link, which enables real-time sharing of tactical communications and navigational data with its parent ship in both open-ocean and littoral environments.
The versatile MH-60R can be used for multiple missions, including:
- Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW): capable of fully independent and/or coordinated ASW operations and can localize and classify sub-surface threats as well as engage them with up to 3 Mark 46 or 54 homing torpedoes
- Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW): advanced sensors enable it to detect, locate, identify and neutralize surface threats beyond the parent ship's radar or electronic horizon using shipboard weapons or the helicopter's AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
- Search and Rescue (SAR)
- Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)
- Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)
- Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS)
- Communications Relay (COMREL)
By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark A. Leonesio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman James R. Evans [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons