US approves sale of Harpoon missiles to S. Korea

November 18, 2015

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) — The U.S. government has approved a proposed sale to South Korea of submarine-launched Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles and associated equipment, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said Wednesday.

The agency said in a statement that it notified Congress the previous day of the State Department’s decision to approve the proposed sale of 19 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles and 13 Block II upgrade kits for an estimated cost of US$110 million.

The prime contractor will be the Boeing Co., it said.

“The ROK intends to use the Harpoon Block II missiles to supplement its existing Harpoon missile capability. The acquisition of the Harpoon Block II missiles and support will supplement current weapon inventories and bring the ROK Navy’s Anti-Surface Warfare performance up to existing regional baselines,” the statement said.

“The proposed sale will provide a defensive capability while enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allied forces. Sub-launched Harpoon missiles have been used by the ROK since the 1990s. The ROK will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles into its armed forces,” it said.

The agency also said the missile sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation.

“The ROK is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region,” it said. “It is vital to the U.S. interest to assist our South Korean ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”