Pentagon to sell spy drones for $1.2bln to South Korea

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  1. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Pentagon to sell spy drones for $1.2bln to South Korea


    The Pentagon is going to sell four of the Block 30 versions of the Global Hawk high-altitude spy drones to South Korea, of which the US Department of Defense has informed Congress recently.


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    The deal between the Pentagon and Seoul, which is estimated to worth $1.2 billion, will be implemented under the Foreign Military Sales program and in line with the transition of intelligence gathering mission from the US-led Combined Forces Command to South Korea's own troops in 2015.

    The deal would also include "associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support".

    The drones are equipped with radars and optical sensors capable to survey landscapes through clouds while flying up to 20km high.

    The Block 30 model is not a new model, earlier in January the US Air Force announced in January it wanted to retire its fleet in 2013 and instead buy more advanced Block 40s.

    Congress may block the deal, but according to the Korean news agency Yonhap they are much likely to support the deal.


    US to sell $1.2bn in spy drones to S. Korea — RT
     
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  3. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Seoul says has other drone options than Global Hawks


    South Korea is not necessarily committed to buying US Global Hawk surveillance drones, a spokesman said Wednesday, after the Pentagon requested congressional permission for such a sale.


    Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said it would decide early next year whether to buy the high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles made by Northrop Grumman that have come with a higher than expected price tag, at $1.2 billion for four of the drones.

    "We will decide whether to proceed with the purchase plan only after we receive a letter of intent and carefully study the sale's terms," a DAPA spokesman told AFP.

    Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified top government official as saying Seoul could consider other choices, such as Boeing's Phantom Eye and the California-based AeroVironment Global Observer.

    The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said Tuesday it had notified Congress of a possible sale of four remotely-piloted Global Hawk aircraft.

    "We've never said we would buy no other surveillance drones than Global Hawks," the South Korean official was quoted as saying by Yonhap after the price tag suggested by DSCA appeared to be prohibitively high.

    "Competing drones could be considered", the official said.

    "Negotiations would have to start anywhere below 800 billion won (745 million dollars) in total, as was suggested by the US side last October," the official added.

    South Korea relies heavily on its ally the United States for intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities over nuclear-armed North Korea.

    Seoul says has other drone options than Global Hawks
     

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