The Republic of Korea has requested to buy twelve (12) MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters, equipped with the following: thirteen (13) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode Radars (12 installed, 1 spare); twenty-five (25) T-700-GE-401C Engines (24 installed, 1 spare); twelve (12) Airborne Low Frequency Sonar Systems (ALFS) (12 installed); thirteen (13) AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (12 installed, 1 spare); twenty-four (24) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (24 installed); twelve (12) Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) Block Upgrade Two Terminals; four (4) M-240D crew served guns; four (4) GAU-21 crew served guns; and one thousand (1,000) AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys. Also included are twenty-four (24) AN/ARC-210 RT-1990A(C) radios with Communications Security (COMSEC); twenty (20) AN/ARC-220 High Frequency radios; twenty (20) AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; spare engine containers; facilities study; design and construction; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communications equipment; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $800 million.
South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) issued the procurement process for the Maritime Operation Helicopter (MOH) batch 2 program in May 2019. The bids are due by mid-August while the winner could be announced by the end of the year.
The MOH Batch 2 programme calls for the procurement of 12 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for the RoK Navy for a value of about $800 million. Naval News understand that three designs are competing:
- Leonardo / AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat
- NHIndustries NH90 Nato Frigate Helicopter (NFH)
- Sikorsky MH-60R Romeo
Eight AW159 Wildcat have already been delivered to the ROK Navy as part of the MOH Batch 1 tender. Leonardo was initially named the preferred bidder for MOH Batch 2 but the acquisition process was restarted because DAPA’s procurement rules stipulates that a single-source contract is only permissible after two failed open tenders.
The NH90 NFH variant is already in service with the navies of Italy, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and has been selected by Qatar and Germany.
Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department approved a similar deal for the Indian Navy as well as for the Hellenic Navy. So far, the Romeo has been selected by the navies of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, India and Greece.