skip to main content

US approves possible additional F-35 sale to South Korea

South Korea's original 2013 request to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs cited a figure of 60 aircraft. This number was curtailed to 40 due to budgetary reasons. The South Korean government backed a proposal to acquire an additional 20 F-35As in 2022. (South Korea Ministry of National Defense)

The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of up to 25 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs to South Korea.

The aircraft and related equipment have an estimated contract price of USD5.06 billion. This includes up to 26 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines (of which, one will be a spare), AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders (SKL), KIV-78 Cryptographic Appliques, and Electronic Warfare (EW) Reprogramming Lab support.

Other components of the possible sale include Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CADs/PADs), classified software delivery and support, contractor logistics support (CLS), aircraft and munitions support and support equipment, spare parts, consumables, accessories, repair/return support, aircraft engine component improvement program (CIP) support, secure communications, precision navigation, and cryptographic devices.

The proposed sale also includes the F-35 Block 4 upgrade, along with major modifications, maintenance, and maintenance support.

The US announcement comes over a year after South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced in July 2022 the decision to procure 20 additional F-35s. In March 2023 DAPA said that acquisition costs of these 20 aircraft were KRW3.75 trillion (USD2.87 billion). South Korea intends to acquire the additional aircraft between 2023 and 2028.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...