Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Text Fwd: 1st Early Warning Aircraft Arrives in S. Korea
[Exclusive]1st Early Warning Aircraft Arrives in S. Korea
By Jung Sung-ki
The first of four 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft built by Boeing Integrated Defense System (IDS) has arrived in South Korea.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) accepted the first "E-737" airplane for modifications Tuesday, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.
A ceremony to mark the beginning of the modification work was held at the Sacheon facility with representatives from DAPA, KAI and Boeing attending, it said.
KAI will equip the plane with Northrop Grumman’s L-band Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar before handing it over to the Air Force next year. The modification work is part of offset deals from the AEW&C contract signed in 2006.
Under the $1.6 billion contract, Boeing IDS will deliver four 737 AEW&C aircraft to South Korea by 2012 when the nation will take over wartime operational control of their troops from the U.S. military.
The 737 AEW&C has six common console stations for the mission crew and boasts of its commonality with commercial airline fleets for flexibility and support. The aircraft can fly at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet and top speed of 340 knots.