skip to main content

South Korea approves plan to procure Lynx replacement

South Korea's fleet of 22 Westland WG13 Lynx Mk 99 maritime helicopters has been operational with the RoK Navy since 1991. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

South Korea has approved a plan to replace the country's ageing Westland WG13 Lynx Mk 99 maritime helicopter fleet amid other decisions on future rotary-wing-related acquisitions.

During its 158th meeting on 29 December, the Defense Acquisition Program Committee backed a “basic strategic plan” to replace the Republic of Korea (RoK) Navy's 22 operational Lynx Mk 99s. The Lynxes, which entered service in 1991, form a major component of the RoK Navy's anti-submarine capabilities.

The plan to procure new helicopters from international vendors has a value of KRW2.87 trillion (USD2.23 billion). The committee said new helicopters will be procured from 2025 to 2032.

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) added that the procurement of the Lynx's replacement will allow the RoK Navy to “increase [its] ability to carry out three-dimensional operations such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW)”.

According to DAPA, the replacement helicopters are expected to enhance the RoK Navy's ability to “respond to threats such as North Korea's submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs)”.

Janes assesses that the likely contender for the programme is the Sikorsky MH-60R. This would allow the RoK Navy to achieve parity in maintenance and commonality of use as it already operates 10 UH-60P Black Hawks in logistics and maritime patrol roles. The South Korean media has said that another contender for the programme is the NHIndustries NH90.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...