The South Korean government has approved a plan to purchase F-35A fighter jets from the US for 3.75 trillion won ($2.85 billion).
The purchase will take place through 2028 amid North Korean nuclear and missile threats.
The number of Lockheed Martin aircraft to be purchased was not disclosed. However, Yonhap News Agency said it could be around 20. The Republic of Korea Air Force already operates 40 F-35As.
A Defense Project Promotion subcommittee endorsed the plan in June 2022.
In the next stage, the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration will conduct a feasibility study and follow-up procedures.
SM-6 for Upcoming Aegis Destroyers
Additionally, the committee approved a plan to buy the ship-borne SM-6 anti-air warfare system for the upcoming 8,200-ton KDX-III Batch-II Aegis destroyers.
The committee wants the $589 million Raytheon systems to be installed through 2031, helping the vessels counter aircraft and missiles.
The South Korean navy has been operating the SM-2 on its existing Aegis fleet and is now seeking to upgrade the system.
Additional Purchase Plans
The committee also approved plans to purchase a tactical ground-to-ground vehicle-launched guided missile system for 1.55 trillion won ($1.18 billion) through 2032 and develop a ship-to-air indigenous missile for the KDDX destroyers currently under development.
The 690 million-won ($53 million) missile development is expected to run through 2030.