Raytheon Begins SAM-X/Patriot Missile Work in South Korea
In March of 2008, Raytheon announced an initial contract (amount undisclosed) for preliminary planning efforts aimed at integrating Patriot air defense/ABM missiles into South Korea’s national command and control structure. This work is in preparation for a Foreign Military Sale of the Patriot air and missile defense system to South Korea under its $1.2-1.6 billion SAM-X program. Raytheon said that it expects significant follow-on awards to complete the system integration and to provide command and control, communications and maintenance support equipment, as well as the training of Korean operators and maintainers and technical assistance to the deployed systems.
Under SAM-X, up to 48 fire systems of Patriot missiles would replace South Korea’s aged Nike missiles; Raytheon has been the only contender since Russia’s Rosvoorouzhenie (S-300/SA-20) dropped out of the race in 2000. While the S-300 has longer range, that isn’t South Korea’s priority. The capital city of Seoul contains 25% of the country’s population, and is within range of at least 11,000 short-range missiles and artillery tubes on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone. South Korea’s Defense Ministry had originally planed to award the SAM-X contract to Raytheon by the end of 2001, but the negotiation broke up over funding approval, and price and the payments timetable issues. An effort was made in 2007 to buy second-hand Patriot PAC-2 systems from Germany… and delivery of those missiles has now begun.
Nov 28/08: The South Korean Air Force formally receives the first shipment of Patriot missiles from Germany, after a series of performance tests since their delivery in August 2008. The shipment is reportedly part of a EUR 551 million (about $710 million) second-hand deal signed in September 2007. The Patriot missiles will replace the country’s outdated Nike air defense missiles by 2012, after 2 years of trial operation. Deutsche Welle.