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KDX-III - Block II [KDX-IV ??] Aegis BMD

The new Aegis destroyers (KDX-III Batch-II) may incorporated the AMDR-S radar. The Air and Missile Defense Radar is the US Navy's next generation integrated air and missile defense radar. It was planned to be deployed on the DDG-51 Flight III beginning in 2016. The radar significantly enhances the ships abilities to detect air and surface targets as well as the proliferating ballistic missile threats.

High level discussions had taken place to provide South Korea an Aegis BMD capability on their KDX-III Class Aegis Destroyers. In January 2008 the South Korean navy proposed the procurement of a further three KDX-III Aegis-equipped destroyers. The KDX-III destroyer is the core of the Navy's future "strategic mobile squadrons", consisting of 14,000-ton Dokdo-class large-deck landing platforms, KDX-II destroyers, 1,800-ton Type-214 submarines and other support vessels and aircraft. The Navy plans to create a mobile squadron in 2010 and at least two more in the long run. To that end, the service wants to build three more KDX-III ships by 2020. With only three Aegis ships, systematic operations of mobile squadrons are almost impossible due to lack of backup capability. In general, a pair of Aegis ships is supposed to thwart enemy aircraft and incoming missiles, respectively, while another pair is on standby and another one under regular maintenance.

A 2009 study revealed that the KDX-II radar began to detect a missile with an RCS of 0.1 m2 from 27km away and a 1m2 RCS aircraft (eg F-16) from 65km away. These values appeared to leave the ship vulnerable, since this would give little time to react to threats. Because of this factor thought was given to creating a new class of destroyers called KDX-IV would be a KDX-II with 3D radar and more modern equipment. But that KDX-IV was just speculation from outsiders government, ie, it is not an official program. The designation KDX-IV was also attested in 2010 for a project for mini King Sejong the Great class destroyer, unknown number planned.

On 10 December 2013, the Joint Chiefs of Staff held a council, conducted by chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Choi Yun-hee, and decided to secure three additional new Aegis destroyers by the mid- 2020s. The Navy had strengthened its military strength with three Aegis ships Sejongdaewang Ham in 2008, Yulgok Yi Yi Ham in 2010 and Seoae Ryu Seong Ryong Ham in 2012. If the joint chiefs of staff secured the budget and uses it to strengthen military strength according to deliberation and decision on the Aegis, the navy would possess six Aegis ships in total.

Well expand our ballistic missile detection and tracking, and anti-submarine capability to prepare for asymmetric threats from North Korea, such as nuclear weapons, missiles and submarines, and their local provocation. In real wartime, we will significantly improve our area anti-aircraft defense and striking power against surface ships and ground high-payoff targets. Moreover, for the potential threat around the Korean Peninsula, we will improve our reaction capability on the ocean sovereignty defense, it was stated in a briefing on the results of the joint chiefs of staff's council on the same day.

Compared to the existing Aegis destroyer (KDX-III), the new ones that will be additionally secured are loaded combat systems used for ballistic missile detection and tracking, and configured with the required operational capability to offer improved detection capability of submarines and submergence vehicles with the integrated sonar system.

Our Navy has three Aegis ships in total, and were on a very tight schedule to operate them as one for operating, another for standby and the other for maintenance. As were seeking for further military strength such as a task fleet, additional Aegis ships are essential for more effective operation, an MND official explained regarding the background of the additional securement of Aegis.

A military official also explained the meaning of the additional securement, saying the Navy could perform missions more smoothly against asymmetric threats from North Koreas missiles and enable the Navy to gather speed to secure the task fleet. Another military official said that it was early to tell the specific building costs, but he added it would cost around 4 trillion won more than the costs for securement of the existing Aegis (about 3 trillion won).

Prior to this, the National Assembly Defense Committee had already reflected the required budget for Aegis detailed design research on the 2013 national defense budget in December 2012, emphasizing the necessity of the additional securement of Aegis ships; moreover, they brought up the issue at the regular session of the National Assembly in October 2013.

On 09 June 2015 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea for Aegis Combat Systems and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.91 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale that day.

The Republic of Korea (ROK) requested a possible sale of 3 Aegis Shipboard Combat Systems, 3 MK-41 Vertical Launching Systems, 3 Common Data Link Management Systems, 3 AN/UPX-29(V) Identification Friend or Foe Interrogators, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, tool and test equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated cost is $1.91 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation. The ROK is 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. It is vital to the U.S. interest to assist Korea in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

The Aegis Combat System will provide enhanced capabilities on the ROKs naval ships to defend against possible aggression and protect sea lines of communications. Aegis is the keystone in the ROK Navys efforts to upgrade its shipboard combat and ballistic missile defense capability.

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Page last modified: 10-06-2015 21:31:30 ZULU