South Korea to buy cluster bombs from U.S.

An arm of the U.S. Defense Department has asked Congress to approve South Korea’s request to purchase 367 advanced cluster bombs.

Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Web site said South Korea plans to use the CBU-105 bombs, among the most lethal and advanced cluster bombs, to “modernize its armed forces and enhance its capability to defeat a wide range of enemy defenses, including fortifications, armored vehicles and maritime threats,” the Korea Times reported.

The agency said the bombs and related parts, equipment, logistical support and training would be priced at $325 million.

The Times has reported the South Korean air force plans to acquire the CBU-105s this year.

The estimated 926-pound, anti-armor bomb disperses 40 ice hockey puck-shaped, heat-seeking “bomblets,” or skeets, above targets. The skeets use an infrared targeting system to detect and lock onto heat from the engine of an armored vehicle.

The cluster bomb can self-destruct about 49 feet above the ground to minimize the possibility of civilian casualties if it fails to find a target.

The Times said a senior official at the paramilitary defense committee said South Korea’s arms procurement agency would try to negotiate a lower price.

Copyright 2012 by United Press International

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