The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress (link opens in PDF) Thursday of plans to sell 260 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to the Republic of Korea. Including the cost of associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support, the notified contract could be worth as much as $452 million to principal contractor Raytheon (NYSE:RTN).
South Korea has requested that the U.S. sell it these missiles to arm its KF-16 and F-15K fighter jets (Korean variants of the venerable Lockheed F-16 and Boeing F-15), describing the armaments as a "contingency stock" that can be drawn upon if necessary.
DSCA justified the sale by noting that "the ROK continues to be an important force for peace, political stability, and economic progress in North East Asia. The proposed sale will provide the ROK with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces."
Additionally, DSCA noted that operational control of these weapons systems "will transfer from US Forces Korea/Combined Forces Command (USFK/CFC) to the ROK's Korea Command (KORCOM) in 2015. This acquisition will enhance the capabilities needed to support the OPCON transfer."
DSCA reassured Congress that selling Korea these missiles "will not alter the basic military balance in the region" nor will there be any "adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale."