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Sun, Apr 21, 2013

South Korea To Purchase Apache Helicopters

Seoul Government Funds 36 Aircraft To Defend Against The North's Rocket Launchers, Hovercraft

The South Korean government has approved an appropriation for the purchase of 36 AH-64E Apache helicopters from Boeing, saying that the helos are needed to neutralize threats from North Korea's multiple rocket launchers and hovercraft that pose a threat to the country's northern islands.

Bell Helicopter and Turkish Aerospace were also in the competition. The price for the Apache helicopters is estimated to be $1.6 billion.

The Korean news site Chosunilbo reports that the Seoul government will take delivery of the aircraft between 2016 and 2018. It says that the purpose is to help balance out the South's deficit in the number of tanks it has compared to the North. It will also give the South all-weather attack capability they do not have with the Cobra helicopters currently in service.

Boeing cut its price for the Apaches after it lost a contract with the South Korean Navy to a European helicopter manufacturer. Technology transfer is also part of the deal with Seoul.

North Korea completed a base last year that places as many as 60 hovercraft about 30 miles from South Korea's Baeknyeong Island.

(Image provided by Boeing)

FMI: www.boeing.com

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