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S. Korea seeks to buy 6 U.S. close-in weapon systems for naval ships

All News 04:24 February 04, 2022

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking to purchase six close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for its naval ships from the United States, U.S. congressional records showed Thursday.

CIWS is a ship-based gun designed to detect and destroy short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft that have penetrated the outer defenses.

The U.S. Department of Defense requested to sell the weapon systems, called Phalanx, to South Korea in a notification to the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, which was dated Jan. 21 and posted on Monday.

The notification notes the U.S. had sought to sell two Phalanx CIWS systems to South Korea in 2020 for a total of US$39 million in a deal that also included ammunition, spare and repair parts for the naval defense weapon systems, as well as support for their installation and training.

It says the newly proposed deal builds on the 2020 proposal to include an additional four CIWS systems.

"This transmittal notifies the inclusion of an additional four (4) MK 15 Phalanx Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 systems (MDE)," it said.

"Also included is AA20 ammunition; AA61 ammunition; spare and repair parts including those needed to support installation; support and test equipment; personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of program and logistics support."

The latest proposal is now worth $129 million.

The defense department said the proposed arms export to South Korea, if made, would help enhance the country's missile defense capabilities.

"The proposed sale will improve Republic of Korea's capability to meet current and future threats by being able to defeat anti-ship missiles and close-in threats that have pierced other lines of defense," it said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Pacific region," it added.

The South Korean Navy unveiled a project in October to develop its own CIWS-II system by 2027.

This image released by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Oct. 29, 2021, shows the concept of the homegrown close-in weapon system. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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