28 Juli 2009

South Korea and Israel to Jointly Develop Radar

27 Juli 2009

T-50 in production line (photo : KAI)

SEOUL - According to officials at the Defense Acquisition Program (DAPA), South Korean firm, LIG Nex1, will develop an indigenous mechanically-scanned array radar (MESA) for aircraft with the help of Israeli firm, Elta Systems. A signing ceremony will be held on September 3, 2009.

The radar will equip TA-50 and FA-50 fighters, modified versions of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet jointly built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin of the United States.

The South Korean Air Force is buying 82 T-50 variants, 50 T-50s, 22 TA-50s and 10 T-50Bs modified for aerobatics.

Cockpit of the T-50 (photo : Airliners)

KAI signed a deal last December to develop and produce 60 FA-50s by 2012 to replace A-37 attack jets and F-4/5 fighters as backup to the Air Force's KF-16s and F-15Ks.

Under the envisaged agreement, LIG Nex1 will push for developing an indigenous radar based on the Israeli firm's EL/M-2032 radar technologies, DAPA officials said. Officials hope that the radar will begin production in 2010 and enter service in 2011.

In the mid- to long-term, the domestically-built radar is likely to be installed on upgraded KF-16 fighters and further developed to an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to equip “KF-X” fighters with technology transfers from Elta, sources said.

Initiated in 2001, the KF-X program aims to develop more than 120 indigenous fighters by 2020 in partnership with foreign aircraft manufacturers.

(Defense Aerospace)

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