17.04.2013 By KWANWOO JUN
South Korea said on Wednesday it will spend $1.6 billion to buy attack helicopters from Boeing Co. to better cope with North Korean military threats.
A fleet of 36 AH-64E Apache Guardian choppers will be deployed in South Korea from 2016 to 2018, said a senior official at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration in Seoul.
The aircraft will be largely tasked with destroying North Korean tanks or armored vehicles in the event of conflict, the DAPA said in a statement. South Korea has had a fleet of Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopters for decades.
The decision, although taken before the latest escalation of tensions with North Korea, reflects a move by Seoul to beef up its aerial firepower. South Korea is expected to make a decision later this year to purchase another 60 fighter jets to better handle North Korea military threats.
South Korea chose the Apache helicopters over the AH-1Z Viper built by Bell Helicopter and the T-129 of Turkish Aerospace Industries.