Thursday, June 17, 2021

South Korea to buy Phalanx point defense gun systems

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced this week that the U.S. State Department recently approved the potential sale to the Republic of Korea of two American-made Phalanx weapon systems.

According to the Pentagon’s top arms broker, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of two MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 (IB2) systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $39 million.

In addition, its notice says that South Korea also has requested to buy four thousand rounds and 20MM cartridge API linked.

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“The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea’s capability to meet current and future threats,” DSCA’s notice regarding the proposed deal says. “Korea will use the systems aboard its first KDX III Batch II Class ship to provide it with effective means of detecting and defending itself against incoming airborne threats.  The Republic of Korea will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”

It is also important to note that DSCA said the principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile and Defense, Louisville, KY.

According to Raytheon’s website, the Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun that can defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats on land and at sea.

The Phalanx weapon system carries out functions usually performed by multiple systems: search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment.

The current Phalanx variant (Block 1B) adds the ability to counter asymmetric warfare threats through the addition of an integrated, stabilized, Electro Optic sensor. These improvements give Phalanx the added ability to counter small high speed surface craft, aircraft, helicopters, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Phalanx is the only deployed close-in weapon system capable of autonomously performing its own search, detect, evaluation, track, engage and kill assessment functions. Phalanx also can be integrated into existing ship combat control systems to provide additional sensor and fire-control support to other installed ship weapon systems.

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About this Author

Min Cheol Gu
Gu Min-Chul is a defense reporter, covering the Korean defense industrial base and all related issues.

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