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US State Department clears massive sale of ammunition for South Korean F-35s.

| 2023

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on December 1 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of F-35 Munitions and related equipment for an estimated cost of $271 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this sale.

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US State Department clears massive sale of ammunition for South Korean F 35s The ROKAF is currently taking deliveries of 40 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

The Government of the Republic of Korea has requested to buy thirty-nine (39) AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); two (2) AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Guidance Sections; eighty-eight (88) KMU-556 Tail Kits for the GBU-31v1 Joint Direct-Attack Munition (JDAM); eighty-six (86) Mk-84 General Purpose (GP) 2000-lb bombs for the GBU-31v1 JDAM; seventy (70) KMU-557 Tail Kits for the GBU- 31v3 JDAM; seventy (70) BLU-109C/B 2000-lb bombs for the GBU-31v3 JDAM; seventy-eight (78) KMU- 572 Tail Kits for the GBU-54 Laser JDAM (LJDAM); two hundred sixty-nine (269) MAU-169 Computer Control Groups/Guidance Sections for the GBU-12 Paveway II; two hundred sixty-nine (269) MXU-650 Air Foil Groups for the GBU-12 Paveway II; three hundred forty-two (342) Mk-82 500-lb GP bombs for the GBU-12 Paveway II or GBU-54 LJDAM; twelve (12) Mk-82 inert bombs; thirty-five (35) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb-Increment 1 (SDB-I) All-Up-Rounds (AUR) with containers; and one hundred eighteen (118) GBU-53 Small Diameter Bomb-Increment 2 (SDB-II) AURs. Also included are AIM-120 control section spares and containers; DSU-38 Laser Illuminated Target Detectors; SDB-I Tactical Training Rounds and carriage systems; SDB-II Practical Explosive Ordnance Disposal Trainers (PEST) and Weapon Load Crew Trainer (WLCT) units; FMU-139 fuzes; Common Munitions Built-in-Test (BIT)/Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE); ADU-891 adapter group computer test sets; Mk-84 practice bombs and other training bombs/components; munitions support and support equipment including propellant and explosive charges; classified software delivery and support; spare parts, consumables, and accessories, and repair and return support; major modifications, maintenance, and maintenance support; transportation and airlift support; classified/unclassified publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; contractor logistics support (CLS); studies and surveys; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost is $271 million.

The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Corporation, Ocala, FL; Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ; and the Boeing Company, Huntsville, AL. Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea selected the F-35 Lighting II for its F-X III fighter program in 2014. The ROKAF is currently taking deliveries of 40 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft. The ROKAF’s 17th Fighter Wing operates the F-35 out of Cheongju Air Base.

Program milestones

2014: The Republic of Korea concluded its F-X III fighter acquisition program and selected the F-35.
2018: The first F-35A for the ROKAF, known as aircraft AW-1, took flight in Fort Worth, Texas.
2018: The first F-35A for the ROKAF delivered to Luke AFB, Arizona, for pilot training.
2019: The first F-35As were delivered to their permanent base at Cheongju Air Base.

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