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South Korea orders F-35 fighter munitions

5th December 2023 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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South Korea signed a contract to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35As in 2014. (Photo: US Air Force/DoD)

The US has greenlit a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to South Korea, entailing a package of F-35 ammunition valued at around $271 million.

The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to South Korea for F-35 ammunition for about US$271 million.

The Republic of Korea has requested to buy 39 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), two AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Guidance Sections, 88 KMU-556 Tail Kits for the GBU-31v1 Joint Direct-Attack Munition (JDAM) and other munitions.

The potential sale, the US DoD said, will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the US by improving the security of a major ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific region.

If received, the ordered equipment will improve South Korea’s capability to meet threats by providing its F-35 fighter fleet with a range of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Missiles and Defense and Boeing will be the principal contractors.

South Korea signed a contract to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35As through the FX-3 FMS programme for $7 billion in 2014, which had all been delivered as of December 2021.

In July 2022, the South Korean defence agency announced its support for the purchase of 20 more F-35s to add to its existing numbers as part of the South Koreas F-X 'kill chain' project. If approved, South Korea would expect delivery to be complete by 2030. The new fighters will be under block variant four, whereas the previous 40 are variant three.

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