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US approves sale of CH-47Fs to South Korea

The acquisition of CH-47Fs by South Korea will give the army access to aircraft with superior flight performance (compared with the CH-47Ds in service). The CH-47F also has improved avionics. (US Army/Captain Frank Spatt)

The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of 18 Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters and related equipment to South Korea.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 6 December. The State Department said that the Republic of Korea (RoK) had requested to buy the 18 CH-47F helicopters and 42 T55-GA-714A engines earlier in 2022. Six of these engines will be used as spares.

The US State Department said that the potential sale has a value of USD1.5 billion.

Janes had reported in July that South Korea intends to procure the helicopters for the army. The CH-47Fs are intended to replace the army's fleet of ageing CH-47D International Chinooks. South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has told Janes that the acquisitions are being made as part of Seoul's ‘Heavy Utility Helicopter-II (HUH-II)' project.

The proposed sale also includes 22 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS). Out of these, four will be used as spares. The potential deal includes 44 secure radios and 36 Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems' RT-1987 software-defined, very-high-frequency/ultra-high frequency (VHF/UHF) airborne communication systems. Eight of the latter sets will be designated as spares.

The CH-47Fs will also be equipped with AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Systems, AN/ARC-220 HF Airborne Communication Systems, and AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders.

The aircraft will have Collins Aerospace's AN/ARN-147(V) VHF Omni Ranging/Instrument Landing System (VOR/ILS), AN/ARN 153 advanced digital Tactical Airborne Navigation (TACAN), and Honeywell's AN/APN-209 radar altimeter system.

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