The US State Department has approved a possible sale of logistics support services for South Korea’s RQ-4 Block 30 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).
The potential foreign military sale of contractor logistics support (CLS) is expected to be valued at around $950m.
South Korea has also requested to buy programme management, training for maintenance, logistics and communications personnel, as well as depot and organisational level maintenance.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of the potential sale.
The sale package is also likely to include minor modifications and upgrades, spares, repair / return parts, operational flight support, programme analysis and other related elements of logistics and programme support.
In a statement, DSCA said: “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by meeting the legitimate security and defence needs of one of the closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater.
“The Republic of Korea is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the US in ensuring peace and stability in that region.
“It is vital to US national interests to assist the Republic of Korea in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”
The agency stated that the sale will support Korea’s efforts to sustain its fleet of RQ-4 Block 30 RPA.
The proposed sale will also contribute to enhancing interoperability between the US and the Republic of Korea.
Additionally, the FMS will provide robust intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability on the Korean peninsula.
Northrop Grumman has been named the principal contractor for the potential sale.
In 2012, the US cleared a $1.2bn sale of four RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk RPA and associated equipment to the Republic of Korea.
Global Hawk is designed to provide all-weather, day or night ISR capability.
Block 30 is a multi-intelligence platform capable of simultaneously carrying electro-optical, infrared, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and high and low-band signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensors.