SEOUL -- South Korea's military endorsed a program to spend some 400 billion won ($293 million) on improving the performance of AH-64E Guardian attack helicopters in operation with tactical data links and fire control radars by 2027. The program is aimed at producing the same performance as the latest version run by U.S. troops based in South Korea.
The proposed performance improvement of Boeing's AH-64 Apache, a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter purchased by South Korea was approved at a defense meeting chaired by Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup on September 2, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), an arms procurement agency.
DAPA said that the new tactical data link is a network for data communication that allows Apache helicopters to quickly share operational situations and improve the efficiency of joint operations. The fire control radar capable of tracking 128 targets at the same time within a detection range of 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) will improve the ability to suppress enemy mechanized power.
South Korea deployed 36 AH-64E helicopters in January 2017 for anti-tank and various other missions. The heavy attack helicopter is armed with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, Stinger air-to-air guided missiles, 70mm rockets and a 30mm machine gun.
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