Congress Asked to OK Sale of Chinooks to South Korea

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Tuesday of plans to sell more than a dozen Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) CH-47D Chinook helicopters, plus associated equipment, to the Republic of Korea in a deal valued at $151 million.

The equipment under consideration for sale includes:

  • 14 CH-47D Model Chinooks.
  • 28 Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines to power them (two per helicopter).
  • Five more spare engines.
  • Necessary radio sets, market beacons, tactical air navigation systems, radar altimeters, and gyrocompasses.
  • Ground support equipment and special tools and test equipment required for the helicopters' operation, spare parts, instruction manuals, and technical support and training.

Importantly, the equipment under consideration for sale is not new equipment, but Chinooks, engines, and other parts already owned and in use by U.S. forces currently stationed in Korea. This equipment would be transferred to Korean ownership. U.S. forces will be upgrading to the newer Boeing CH-47F Chinook beginning in January, at which time they will begin offloading their older equipment to the host nation.

According to DSCA, selling these helicopters to Korea "will improve the ROK's capability to meet current and future requirements for troop movement, medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, disaster relief, fire-fighting and heavy construction support. The ROK will use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense, deter regional threats, and improve humanitarian and disaster mobilization and response."

As an added benefit, by selling unneeded equipment instead of paying to remove it from the country and "demilitarize" it, DSCA estimates that the U.S. Army will save itself $13.4 million in costs not incurred.

DSCA assured Congress that "there will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale."

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