REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The Republic of Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced it will purchase 36 U.S. Army Apache (AH-64E) helicopters through Foreign Military Sales (FMS). The value of this FMS is estimated at $1.6 billion.
"We are very proud our Korean partners selected a U.S. aircraft," U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's (USASAC's) PACOM Regional Director Col. Stephen Smith said. "We received an LOR (Letter of Request) to submit a proposal last year, and DAPA competed these proposals through a very rigorous process. We were not only competing against other nations, but also private industry from other nations," Smith explained.
The AH-64E Guardian is the most recent "platform" of the Army's Apache attack helicopter, which means its systems are the most technically-advanced version available to the U.S. Army.
"This purchase by the Koreans means continued interoperability at the highest level, and it may also have an 'economies of scale' benefit for the U.S. Army if we are also purchasing this model," Smith stated.
While USASAC oversees security assistance and the FMS process for the Army, numerous other organizations that support the Army Security Assistance Enterprise also support this case.
"AMCOM (Aviation and Missile Command) Security Assistance Management Directorate, PEO Aviation (Program Executive Office Aviation) AAHPO (Apache Attack Helicopter Project Office), ACC (Army Contracting Command), CECOM (Communications-Electronics Command), JMC (Joint Munitions Command) and our industry partners are supporting this acquisition in the same way we support our Army's acquisitions," Smith noted.
For the Army, this purchase by South Korea is expected to account for almost one-tenth of Army FMS for this fiscal year.
"The purchase of a U.S. product through Foreign Military Sales is always a credit to the quality and professionalism of our Army's equipment and personnel. But this also speaks to the long-standing relationship we have with Korea and supports PACOM (U.S. Pacific Command) priorities and the DoD's (Department of Defense's) rebalance toward the Pacific," Smith said.