The office of Sen. Thad Cochran has released a statement announcing South Korea’s decision to supply its fighter aircraft with Mississippi-built radar systems.
The announcement comes as international tensions increase between U.S.-backed South Korea and an increasingly militant neighboring North Korea and its leader Kim Jon-Un.
The Republic of Korea Air Force reportedly selected the Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radars that are built at a Raytheon facility in Forest to upgrade the radar capabilities of 134 of its KF-16 fighters.
The potential sale, which has to go through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales process, is estimated to be worth $550 million.
“This decision comes at a critical time as our allies on the Korean peninsula face an imminent threat from the North Koreans,” Cochran, a ranking member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee said on Wednesday.
“Versions of this radar built in Mississippi have also been helping the U.S. Navy and Air Force defend us against airborne threats to our security for some time,” he said.
Cochran invited the Republic of Korea Ambassador to the United States to the Raytheon facility in 2011 in an effort to highlight Mississippians’ success in military electronics manufacturing.
Source: Office of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran