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US approves $72 million sale of Mk 54 torpedoes to South Korea

The U.S. Department of State has approved a possible $72 million sale of air-launched Mk 54 lightweight torpedoes to South Korea, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

The possible sale of 31 Mk 54 All Up Round lightweight torpedoes includes additional equipment and support for a total program cost of $72 million, the Tuesday, August 27 release said.

South Korea has also requested to purchase Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes (REXTORP) with containers, air launch accessories, spare parts, training and support, according to the DSCA.

South Korea intends to use the torpedoes on the Republic of Korea Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft.

The U.S. approved the sale of six Poseidon P-8 patrol aircraft and 64 Patriot PAC-3 missiles at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion last September.

“It is vital to U.S. national interests to assist the Republic of Korea in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability,” DSCA said, adding that South Korea is one of America’s “closest allies in the INDOPACOM Theater” and “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.”

The prime contractor is Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

The Mark 54 Lightweight Hybrid Torpedo is a standard anti-submarine warfare torpedo developed by Raytheon and introduced in 2004. It combines the homing section of the Mk 50, and the warhead and propulsion of the Mk 46 improved for better performance in littoral waters.

The Mk 54 torpedo can be deployed from surface ships, helicopters or fixed wing aircraft and can track, classify and attack underwater targets. It uses sophisticated processing algorithms to distinguish false targets and countermeasures, from identified threats.

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