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Korea Approves 18.69 Billion Won Global Hawk Purchase

Posted October. 16, 2007 07:37,   


It was revealed that Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is planning the acquisition of four Global Hawks, high altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), by 2011, and appropriated 18.69 billion won for their purchase from the United States.

According to a military source, on October 15, DAPA will establish a strategy to negotiate with the United States and test-evaluate the Global Hawk until the end of the year, finish negotiations by 2009, and acquire four vehicles by 2011 for field deployment.

The budget of the program is estimated at a total of 18.69 billion won; 18.11 billion won for the UAVs and 580 million won for the initial program launching costs, such as takeoff and landing control equipment.

This is the first finding of the specific schedule and budget of Korea’s Global Hawk program.

The program has been initiated as part of the return of wartime operational control (OPCON) to Korea set for April 2012.

The Global Hawk can perform strategic reconnaissance over all of North Korea and surrounding countries, rendering it a key asset for independent intelligence gathering.

However, Global Hawk is subject to strict control for export according to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). If the United States sells this item to Korea, over thirty MTCR member states have to consult to amend the related clauses.

The United States plans to persuade member states at the MTCR General Meeting next month in order to pass the amendment, but it remains to be seen whether the amendment will occur. A few states, including Russia, may oppose it under the pretext of strategic technology proliferation.