Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved South Korea's request to purchase MH-60R multi-mission helicopters and associated parts and spares, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.
The $800 million deal, announced Wednesday, covers 12 Seahawk helicopters, along with radar, communications and weapons systems, as well as training on the rotorcraft.
The helicopters, manufactured by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky, are in use by the U.S. Navy, as well as the navies of Denmark, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
DSCA said the purchase is expected to enhance the ability of South Korea to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions, as well as a variety of search and rescue and communications missions. The ability to carry on such missions is essential to the country's ability to defend itself.
"The Republic of Korea 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," DSCA said, adding that the enhanced capabilities will be used "as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense."
Included in the proposed sale, if it is not opposed by Congress, will be two U.S. contractors assigned to the country for program support, as well as additional U.S. government engineering and technical support for training and other assistance.
The State Department in July also approved the sale of up to seven Seahawks to Greece for a total cost of about $600 million.