South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced last week that it will push for $400 million in offset obligations that can include technology transfers from any foreign vendor selected to supply the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) with 12 new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, The Diplomat reported on Tuesday.
"(We) plan to push for an offset package with the size of around $400 million," DAPA announced on November 8, according to Yonhap News. Earlier this year, DAPA announced it would invest $768 million in a new fleet of 12 ASW helicopters. The latest procurement is part of a larger plan – known as the Maritime Operational Helicopter program – to acquire a total of 20 new anti-submarine warfare helicopters by 2022.
"We are planning to sign a deal with one of the three chopper companies by the end of 2018 and the new choppers will be gradually deployed from 2020 through 2022," a DAPA spokesperson said in January. Contenders for the new ASW helicopters include AgustaWestland’s AW-159, Sikorsky’s MH-60R, and the NHIndustries’ NH-90 multirole military helicopter.
According to the report, the multi-mission maritime helicopter will likely be armed with Spike NLOS missiles, K745 Cheong Sangeo (Blue Shark) light-weight torpedoes and depth charges. The aircraft can stay in the air for 2-3 hours depending on the load.