Friday, July 31, 2009

South Korea may scrap plan to buy used U.S. Apache helicopters

South Korea is considering scrapping its plan to buy second-hand Apache attack helicopters from the United States due to feasibility issues, an official said Wednesday. The South Korean Army has hundreds of helicopters that will be decommissioned over the next decade. The country began considering purchasing replacements from the U.S. last year when its longstanding ally offered to sell dozens of used Apaches at discount prices.
But a South Korean defense official privy to the matter said his government would have to purchase 30 years worth of replacement parts along with the Apaches, creating feasibility issues. "Tens of thousands of parts are involved in a single Apache helicopter," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Buying 30 years worth of them is financially difficult." "There is also a problem with the compatibility between Apaches and the tactical data link systems we operate here," the official added. South Korea seeks to develop its own attack helicopters in a project estimated to cost between 5 trillion to 10 trillion won (US$4 billion to $8 billion), while it seeks to develop an indigenous utility helicopter. "We expect to reach a final conclusion as early as early next year on how we're going to replace our aging helicopters," the official said. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration in Seoul released a statement concerning the plan, saying, "no ultimate decision has been made."


Now that is good common sense at work!

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