For the record, DAPA issued the procurement process for the Maritime Operation Helicopter (MOH) batch 2 program in May 2019. The bids were due by mid-August while the winner could be announced by the end of the year.
The announcement published today on the DAPA website reads:
The Marine Operational Helicopter Batch 2 program is a project to secure maritime operational helicopters with anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare capabilities through overseas purchase to improve the long-distance surface and underwater detection and attack capabilities of naval vessels. The MH-60R was selected for the 2nd maritime helicopter project, and the contract is expected to be concluded within this year.
Project period: ’17~’25 years, total project cost: about 960 billion won
As we reported previously, the United States’ State Department approved in August last year a possible Foreign Military Sale to South Korea of 12 MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters for an estimated cost of $800 million.
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 that were competing were:
- Leonardo / AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat
- NHIndustries NH90 Nato Frigate Helicopter (NFH)
- Sikorsky MH-60R Romeo
Eight AW159 Wildcat have been procured by 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.
Here is our coverage of the MH-60R helicopter during last year’s Seoul Airshow:
About MH-60R “Romeo” maritime helicopter
The U..S Navy is the main operator of the MH-60R with 289 units in its fleet. It is the primary anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare helicopter in the fleet.
The MH-60R combines the features of the SH-60B and SH-60F aircraft. Its sensors package includes an MTS-FLIR, the AN/APS-147 multi-mode radar/IFF interrogator, an advanced airborne fleet data link, and a more advanced airborne active low frequency sonar (ALFS). Offensive capabilities are improved by the addition of new Mk-54 air-launched torpedoes and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
So far, the Romeo has been selected by the navies of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Australia, India and Greece… South Korea can be added to the list following today’s announcement.