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United States Authorizes South Korea’s $170.6M Purchase of Subsonic Sea-Skimming Aerial Targets

United States Authorizes South Korea’s $170.6M Purchase of Subsonic Sea-Skimming Aerial Targets

The United States has approved the potential sale of subsonic sea-skimming aerial targets to the government of South Korea. 

According to a press release from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Korea requested five BQM-177A SSATs, typically used during military training, for its Aegis destroyers.

The potential $170.6 million purchase includes GQM-163 target drones, training and technical and logistical support.

Kratos Defense is the principal contractor of the BQM-177A SSAT. Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman will supply the GQM-163A target drones.

The DCSA determined that the proposed foreign military sale of aerial targets will boost the East Asian nation’s capability to defend itself against current and future threats amid tensions with neighboring North Korea. The agency said the Korean military will use the targets to conduct combat system ship qualification trials for its new fleet of KDX-III Batch-II destroyers. 

The approval comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called on the nation’s military forces to intensify war drills and improve combat capabilities to deter “the constant threat of the enemies.” 

The North Korean Defense Ministry also recently threatened to perform unspecified activities in response to the ongoing military exercise between South Korea and the United States. The ministry sees the exercise, which began on March 4, as an invasion rehearsal.

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