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Sat Nov 3, 2012 5:45AM
A South Korean Incheon class frigate (file photo)

A South Korean Incheon class frigate (file photo)

Israel has voiced enthusiasm in purchasing four frigates from South Korea and plans to send a team of its officials to Seoul next month to pursue a potential deal. "Israel recently expressed an interest to buy four frigates," Yonhap news agency quoted an official at South Korean’s state-run weapons procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), as saying Saturday on condition of anonymity. The 1,400-ton frigates under negotiation with Israel are said to be priced at about US$100 million each. South Korea offered to build warships for the Israeli navy after it lost a bid to sell Israel T-50 fighter trainer jets earlier this year. A team of representatives from the South Korean government and Hyundai Shipyards visited Tel Aviv in April to discuss a deal aimed at building frigates for the Israeli navy. There are reports that Hyundai would sell Israel the vessels, and that various Israeli defense industries would install locally-made systems on board, including radar and Barak anti-missile system. Some of the work could be done by the Israel Shipyards in the city of Haifa, located about 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Tel Aviv. MP/AZ