Phalanx Block 1B
Phalanx Block 1B

U.S. Approves Sale of Phalanx Block 1B CIWS for Republic of Korea Navy KDX III Batch II Class Destroyer

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of two (2) MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 (IB2) systems and related equipment for an estimated cost of $39 million. The Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) has requested to buy two (2) MK 15 MOD 25 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) Block 1B Baseline 2 (IB2) systems; and four thousand (4,000) rounds, 20MM cartridge API linked. Also included are spare parts; other support equipment; ammunition; books and other publications; software; training; engineering technical assistance and other technical assistance; and other related elements of program and logistical support. The estimated total cost is $39 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Pacific region. The proposed sale will improve the Republic of Korea’s capability to meet current and future threats. Korea will use the systems aboard its first KDX III Batch II Class ship to provide it with effective means of detecting and defending itself against incoming airborne threats. The Republic of Korea will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile and Defense, Louisville, KY. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The MK 15 Phalanx CIWS (pronounced “sea-wiz”) is a close-in weapon system for defense against incoming threats such as small boats, surface torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and helicopters. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division, later a part of Raytheon. Consisting of a radar-guided 20 mm (0.8 in) Vulcan cannon mounted on a swiveling base, the Phalanx has been used by the United States Navy and the naval forces of 15 other countries. The US Navy deploys it on every class of surface combat ship, except the Zumwalt-class destroyer and San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. Other users include the British Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the US Coast Guard (aboard its Hamilton- and Legend-class cutters).

The MK 15 Phalanx provides ships protection against incoming missiles and aircraft. The Phalanx has had several versions throughout its career.
Block 0: The block 0 was the original CIWS, designed to engage and destroy low altitude anti-ship cruise missiles.
Block 1: Extended the range to high altitude missiles with an improved antenna, and improved ammunition capacity by 50%.
Block 1A: Modified software and processing power to allow the CIWS to perform more efficiently against multiple targets.
Block 1B Phalanx Surface Mode (PSUM): Added a Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), which allows the CIWS to engage hovering or slow-moving aircraft and surface craft.
Baseline 2C: Integrated multi-weapon capability.

A MK-15 1B Phalanx Close-in Weapons System (CIWS) performs a test fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).