US clears sale of MK 54 torpedoes for South Korean P-8As

The US state department has approved a possible sale of 31 MK 54 lightweight torpedoes to the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea Navy is acquiring the torpedoes for its new Poseidon P-8A submarine hunter aircraft.

The proposed sale, along with associated equipment and services, has an estimated value of $72 million.

Included in the sale are torpedo containers, recoverable exercise torpedoes (REXTORP) with containers, fleet exercise section (FES) and fuel tanks, and air launch accessories for fixed wing.

Raytheon would be the principal contractor in the sale.

South Korea is buying six Boeing-built P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to replace its fleet of P-3C Orion MPAs which entered service in the 1990s.

Announcing its decision in June 2018, the Republic of Korea became the seventh nation to operate the aircraft, joining the US, Australia, the UK, Norway, India and New Zealand.

Boeing’s aircraft was selected over those proposed by Airbus and Saab who had also shown interest in the South Korean MPA contract.

Photo: US Navy file photo of P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in formation over the East China Sea.