The Defense Administration Program Administration (DAPA) has kicked off an open bid for South Korea's second batch of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.
The bid for the Republic of Korea Navy's new ASW helicopters runs from May 2 until Aug. 16.
The U.S. aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin and Italian giant Leonardo are expected to be competing for DAPA's batch-2 program featuring the acquisition of 12 helicopters for about 950 billion won ($802 million).
In 2016, DAPA purchased eight helicopters for the deployment plan of 20 with Leonardo, deploying its AW159 Wildcat in 2017.
DAPA was going to sign a direct commercial sales (DCS) deal with Leonardo for 12 more Italian multi-mission helicopters last year, as no other competitors participated in the biddings in June and October.
Soon after the Nov. 14 deadline for the second bidding last year, however, the U.S. government sent a letter of price and availability for Lockheed Martin's MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, giving Seoul the option of a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal with Washington.
DAPA now has a choice between the DCS deal and the FMS deal, based on renewed proposals by Leonardo and Lockheed Martin, respectively.
"The companies' proposals shall first be evaluated to select the eligible entities. DAPA will then conduct a test and evaluation, and negotiations on the selected systems," the procurement agency said in its latest announcement on the bid. (end of excerpt)
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