Following the US State Department’s approval of a potential sale of 18 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift military transport helicopters and related equipment for $1.5 billion to South Korea Rouble Sharma, defence analyst at GlobalData, offered her view:

“The contract, which includes various missile warning and communication systems, is being executed under Seoul’s Heavy Utility Helicopter-II (HUH-II) project. GlobalData’s report, ‘South Korea Defense Market Size and Trends, Budget Allocation, Regulations, Key Acquisitions, Competitive Landscape and Forecast, 2022-27,’ reveals that the country will cumulatively spend more than $4.6 billion between 2022 and 2027 to procure various categories of military rotorcraft to maintain a state of readiness to offer military measures in a fluid, ever-changing South Korea-North Korea relations.

“South Korea explored the idea of upgrading its existing fleet of D-models for a while but eventually decided to obtain a newer variant of helicopters as they are more cost-effective and technologically compatible. The deliveries are expected to be completed by 2028.

“Currently, South Korea operates the world’s third-largest international Chinook fleet, following the US and the UK. With this deal, South Korea has reinforced its defence posture to continuously possess technologically advanced equipment to deter any security threat posed by an unpredictable North Korean regime.

“The Chinook is a significant force multiplier for the South Korean armed forces and can be operated in different terrains and conditions. The tandem-rotor helicopters offer advanced cargo handling capabilities that will be used in transport, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), medical evacuations, and disaster relief roles.”

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