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South Korea News & Discussions

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by Mig-29, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Mig-29

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    IAF mulls purchase of South Korean fighter jets

    A delegation of three Israeli Air Force officers will leave for South Korea this week to examine the T-50 Golden Eagle, a candidate to replace the IAF's veteran Skyhawk jets. This is the first time in 40 years that Israel is considering purchasing a fighter jet not made locally or in the United States. The IAF seeks to purchase 20 to 30 light attack jets to be used by pilot school cadets in advanced stages of combat pilot training. The T-50 is produced by Korean Airspace, in partnership with American company Lockheed-Martin. It took its maiden flight in 2002 and is used in the South Korean air force as a light attack jet and for training purposes. The IAF has been taking interest in the jet since as early as 2003, and the positive impressions gathered over the years have led to the unusual step of sending an official delegation to examine a non-American fighter aircraft. Other candidates for purchase include the T-45, an American model of the British Hawk training aircraft, and the M-346, produced by the Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi. At the moment the T-50 appears to be in the lead, as its performance matches closely that of the IAF destroyers, especially the F-16s.
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    The Skyhawk, set to be replaced by the new purchase, first arrived to Israel in 1968, marking the beginning of the American era for IAF, which used mostly French jets at the time. The Skyhawk served in bombing and close air support. Today several dozens Skyhawks still serve in the 102 squadron ("Flying Tiger"), and in the pilot training school. Last year an expose in The Marker revealed a series of flaws in the maintenance of the jets, which led to the temporary grounding of the entire contingent. Sources in the IAF said recently they have overcome those issues, but admitted that using such an old airplane was "disconcerting.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: IAF mulls purchase of South Korean fighter jets
     
  2. Mig-29

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    S. Korea To Develop F-16 Simulators


    SEOUL - South Korea will develop a dozen of its own F-16/KF-16 fighter flight simulators by 2014 to help pilots keep up with fighter upgrades and conduct sustainable training amid high oil prices, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Aug. 4.

    The agency awarded Korea Aerospace Industries, the country's only aircraft maker, a 130 billion won ($106 million) contract, to develop up-to-date flight simulators and unit training devices for F-16/KF-16 pilots, as well as upgrade existing simulation systems, according to a news release.

    Previously, South Korean airmen used flight simulators developed by Raytheon, a DAPA spokesman said.

    The new systems will help pilots practice tactical flight, emergency landing, and normal landing and take-off, the release said.

    Mass production will begin after the improvement and development of the new simulators are completed by November 2014, it added.

    "Once entering service, the new simulators are expected to not only help resolve the shortage of flight training for pilots, resulted from high oil prices, but also improve pilots' aircraft operational capabilities to an extent," it said.

    The South Korean Air Force operates an older fleet of 34 Block 32 F-16s purchased in the 1980s and a newer fleet of 135 KF-16s manufactured locally to the Block 52 standard from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

    Earlier this year, the Air Force unveiled plans to upgrade KF-16 fighters. The upgrades will include arming the aircraft with precision-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions and other guided weapons.

    Another key upgrade is a replacement for the fighter's existing APG-68(v)5/(v)7 radar systems.

    S. Korea To Develop F-16 Simulators - Defense News
     
  3. Mig-29

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    Republic of Korea – AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Missiles


    The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested a possible sale of 55 All-Up-Round
    AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Missiles, 12 AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs), 2 AIM-9X CATM Missile Guidance Units, missile containers, missile modifications, test and support equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistical support.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: Republic of Korea – AIM-9X SIDEWINDER Missiles
     
  4. Mig-29

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    S. Korea to Deploy New Anti-Sub Torpedoes By 2012

    SEOUL - South Korea will by 2012 deploy 60 to 70 long-range ship-to-submarine light torpedoes that can travel about 20 kilometers in the air before dropping into waters to track and destroy targets, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

    The agency approved a plan Aug. 13 to produce the first batch of Hongsangeo (Red Shark) torpedoes and ship-based vertical launch systems with the investment of $145 million, agency officials said Aug. 16. A follow-up production will be made between 2013 and 2015, they said.

    In June, the state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD) announced the nine years of development of the Hongsangeo rocket to equip the country's KDX-I/II destroyers. LIG Nex1, a leading South Korean missile manufacturer co-developed the $1.6-million-weapon with the investment of about $80 million.

    The ADD and LIG Nex1 have already developed the conventional "shark-series" torpedoes, including Cheongsangeo (Blue Shark) light torpedo and Baeksangeo (White Shark) heavy torpedo.

    "The successful development of the precision-guided Hongsangeo missile system has laid the groundwork for developing the South Korean Navy's anti-submarine operational capability to a world-class level," the ADD said in a news release.

    S. Korea to Deploy New Anti-Sub Torpedoes By 2012 - Defense News
     
  5. Mig-29

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    South Korea Deploying 1,000-Kilometer Cruise Missiles

    South Korea began deploying 1,000-kilometer-range surface-to-surface cruise missiles in the field earlier this year, according to missile developers and military sources Monday.

    The missile, a modified variant of the Hyunmoo missile, is capable of reaching as far as Beijing and Tokyo, as well as hitting key targets in the entire North Korean territory, they said.

    It is the first time that the development and deployment of the long-range cruise missile, dubbed Hyunmoo-III, have been confirmed. Previously, the government neither confirmed nor denied the cruise missile development in an apparent move not to provoke tensions with China and Japan, as well as North Korea.

    The Hyunmoo is a ballistic missile, developed by the state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and LIG Nex1, a leading missile developer in South Korea, with a range of 180 to 300 kilometers.

    "Production of the Hyunmoo-III missile began earlier this year at LIG Nex1 facilities in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, and the missiles have been delivered to an Army unit," a source told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.

    The Hyunmoo-III can hit targets with a margin of error of plus or minus five meters aided by a Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) system, according to the source.

    Hyunmoo-II ballistic missiles, with a range of 300 kilometers, have been operational since last year, the source revealed, adding the ADD and LIG Nex1 began developing the 1,500-kilometer-range Hyunmoo-IIIA cruise missile recently.

    In an effort to help thwart North Korea's increasing asymmetrical capability of missile and nuclear weapons, the Seoul government has pushed for developing long-range cruise missiles since 2006, when the North test-fired the Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile and subsequently conducted its first nuclear test.

    Seoul's development of a long-range cruise missile doesn't violate guidelines restricting the country's missile technology.

    South Korea restricted its missile range to 300 kilometers in a 2001 agreement with the United States, which declared at the same time it would support South Korea's membership in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

    The MTCR is an informal and voluntary regime of more than 30 countries that seeks to limit missile proliferation by restricting exports of missiles that have a range of 300 kilometers or more, and capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload.

    The regime, however, only applies to high-velocity, free flight ballistic missiles, excluding the slower, surface-skimming cruise weapons.

    The cruise missile, dubbed a "flying bomb," is a guided missile that uses a lifting wing and most often a jet propulsion system to allow sustained flight. The self-navigating cruise missile travels at supersonic or high subsonic speeds and flies in a non-ballistic very low altitude trajectory to avoid radar detection.

    Only a few nations, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Israel, possess advanced long-range cruise missiles.

    Since Pyongyang test-fired an ICBM last April and subsequently conducted a second nuclear test a month later, South Korean authorities have raised the need of revising the missile range guidelines.

    The Hyunmoo ballistic missiles are capable of striking Pyongyang and Shinuiju in North Korea in the case of war, as well as short- and medium-range missile sites in Shinsang-ri, South Hamgyeong Province and Gitaeryeong, Gangwon Province.

    But the missiles can't hit North Korean long-range missile sites, including the Musudan-ri site in North Hamgyeong Province, located more than 300 kilometers from Seoul.

    Against that backdrop, many defense analysts here say South Korea should be allowed to develop ballistic missiles with ranges of 550 to 700 kilometers to cover the entire North.

    North Korea has deployed more than 600 Scud missiles with a range of 320-500 kilometers and 200 Rodong missiles with a range of 1,300 kilometers near the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas.

    The reclusive state is also believed to be pushing ahead with the development of a 6,700-kilometer-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the western part of the United States.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009
     
  6. Mig-29

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    KDX-III Aegis Destroyer to Track Launch of Korea Space Launch Vehicle(KSLV)-1

    Sejong the Great, the Navy's 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer, will monitor and track the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV)-1, or Naro-ho, in an effort to evaluate its missile tracking capability, an official of the Ministry of National Defense said. Naro-ho is set to blast off Wednesday from the country's southern region.

    The KDX-III destroyer, equipped with the Aegis Combat System developed by Lockheed Martin of the U.S., entered service last December and underwent tests of its operational performances. The ship is to play a key role in monitoring, tracking and intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) from North Korea in the case of hostilities.

    The KDX-III's SPY-1D radar is one of the most advanced among Aegis radar systems deployed around the world. It can track about 1,000 aircraft within a 500-kilometer radius simultaneously, providing full 360-degree coverage.

    ``The launch of the Naro-ho will offer a great opportunity for the Sejong destroyer to test and evaluate its performances, since a space vehicle, in general, has almost same design, components and technology as those of an ICBM,'' the official said, asking not to be named.

    North Korea launched a rocket that it argued was carrying a communications satellite. The international community suspected the rocket launch was a disguise for an ICBM missile test.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009
     
  7. Mig-29

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    U.S. Forces Korea Chief Urges Seoul to Join US BMD


    South Korea should participate in a U.S. regional missile defense network to thwart the lingering threat posed by North Korea's missile programs, the top American commander here said .

    In an exclusive interview with The Korea Times, Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), said South Korea should develop a multi-layered missile defense system interoperable with the U.S. high-altitude ballistic missile defense (BMD) shield for defense against a possible North Korean missile attack, the top American commander here said Wednesday.

    Sharp made the remarks at a time when tension is growing here amid reports that North Korea is preparing to test-fire a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States and has successfully deployed 3,000-kilomter-range short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles putting neighboring countries, such as Japan, Russia and India within striking distance.

    ``The ROK does not have a robust missile defense capability in place and this would likely be one of the bridging capabilities the U.S. would provide until the ROK improves this,'' Sharp said in an exclusive interview with The Korea Times this week. ROK is the acronym of South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

    In this regard, both the ROK and U.S. would benefit greatly from interoperability and the exchange of data between missile defense systems, said the general, who concurrently serves as chief of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command (CFC) and the United Nations Command (UNC). ``We encourage the ROK to develop a layered and robust defense that provides protection at all levels.''

    The United States has asked South Korea to participate in the U.S.-led global missile defense network, which Japan has already joined. Since 2004, Washington and Tokyo have been working jointly to develop a regional ballistic missile defense shield against possible attacks from Pyongyang, which fired a missile over Japan in 1998 and conducted a nuclear device test in 2006.

    The U.S.-Japan defense system consists of up-to-date sea-to-air SM-3 missiles and PAC-3 interceptors. Previous liberal governments in South Korea opposed the idea of participating in the U.S. BMD effort, citing budget constraints and a possible backlash from North Korea and neighboring countries such as China and Russia.

    The atmosphere has changed, however, as the Lee Myung-bak administration, which has put top priority on ties with the United States, is looking to cooperate with the BMD initiative amid the lingering threat posed by North Korea's missile programs, observers say.

    South Korea, for its part, is on track to build an independent low-tier theater missile shied intended to engage the North's low-flying, short- and intermediate-range missiles with the help of early warning radars, Aegis-based SM-2 ship-to-air missile systems and modified PAC-2 interceptors.

    ``The North Korean ballistic missile threat to the ROK and its allies is very real,'' said Sharp. ``They have 800 increasingly sophisticated missiles, and have tested a missile that many think could reach the United States.''

    8th Army Transformation

    In the interview, Gen. Sharp said the Eighth U.S. Army (EUSA) headquarters in Seoul would be reorganized into an operational command post after 2012, when South Korean commanders take over wartime operational control (OPCON) of its armed forces from the U.S. military.

    ``Of course, it is no secret that we are in the progress of transforming our headquarters as part of the overall Army Transformation Plan,'' the four-star general noted. ``This transformation includes new equipment to keep us compatible with other U.S. Army units, and a reorganization of the headquarters into an operational command post, making it more capable of commanding and controlling fighting units in the event of hostilities.''

    There will be the EUSA headquarters, in some form, maintained in South Korea ``for the foreseeable future, well past the scheduled OPCON transfer,'' he added.

    The debate over moving the EUSA headquarters has been controversial since a 2007 agreement on the OPCON transfer because of the army command's symbolic status on the peninsula.

    Established in 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, the EUSA became the spearhead for the United Nations Command (UNC) to halt aggression from North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War, and ultimately assumed overall responsibility for conducting ground operations on the peninsula under the command of a four-star American general.

    But the command's roles and missions have been significantly reduced since the establishment of the CFC, which took charge of wartime operations on the peninsula in 1978. Since then, a three-star general has taken charge of the EUSA.

    Apache Relocation

    The USFK commander dismissed a possible security vacuum following the planned pullout of an AH-64 Apache helicopter battalion from the peninsula next month. The Apache battalion would not likely return to South Korea, he said.

    ``The U.S. remains committed to the security of the Republic of Korea. That commitment is unwavering,'' he said. ``The key consideration for the F-16 deployment to Korea was ensuring there was not gap in capability when the Apaches departed.''

    Last November, the USFK announced one of the two Apache battalions was being relocated to Fort Carson, Colorado, until March, in order to make the unit available for rotational deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    A-10 ``tank killer'' jets were initially considered to replace the departing Apaches but the USFK withdrew the plan due to requirements for inspections and repairs to the A-10 fleet. Last week, 16 F-16s from Japan, instead of A-10s, arrived at an air base in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.

    Sharp said, ``While I would not rule out the possibility that the Apache battalion could return to Korea when it is no longer needed in support of the Global War on Terrorism, there are no plans for that to take place at this time.''

    The F-16s can conduct a broad range of missions, including close air support, precision strikes and counter-air strikes, adding significant capability in several areas, he stressed.

    The AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter, armed with AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and Hydra 70 laser-guided rockets are crucial assets for South's defense, as their main missions are to help prevent North Korean special forces from infiltrating the South by sea and neutralizing North Korean army's armored units crossing of the military demarcation line in case of war.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009

    ---------- Post added at 12:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:33 PM ----------

    S. Korean Marines to Join PKO Drills in Mongolia

    South Korea will dispatch a platoon of Marines for the first time to a multinational peacekeeping exercise to be held in Mongolia later this month, government officials said. Korea has participated in the annual ``Khan Quest'' exercise since 2006 as an observer by sending working-level officers.

    This year's exercise will take place from Aug. 15 to 25 at a training camp, about 40 miles west of the capital Ulan Bator, officials at the Ministry of National Defense said. Since 2001, the general staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces, with the support of the U.S. Pacific Command, has organized the summer peacekeeping exercise.

    For the first five years, only Mongolian and U.S. troops participated in the exercise. The joint drills have expanded since then to include many other countries. About 450 troops from some 20 nations, including Germany, India, Bangladesh and Cambodia, are to take part in this year's exercise.

    During Khan Quest, instructors, who have experience in peacekeeping operations overseas, lead practical lessons in realistic conditions. Troops also introduce their weapons and military vehicles to each other. Korea has actively participated in peacekeeping operations overseas. Currently, about 350 soldiers are stationed in Lebanon, while a 300-strong naval unit is conducting an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.

    In June, the government announced a plan to establish a 3,000-strong standby peacekeeping unit that can be rapidly deployed to troubled regions.

    http://www.defence.pk/forums/newreply.php?do=postreply&t=30493

    ---------- Post added at 12:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:33 PM ----------

    S. Korean Air Force Pilots to Wear Custom-Made Gloves

    Air Force pilots will wear custom-made flight gloves beginning next year, the service said. A research institute at Konkuk University in Seoul has developed the high-tech leather gloves, which are the first of their kind, it said in a news release.

    The gloves will be tailored to precisely fit the hands of each pilot. A ``hand scanner'' will measure the length, width and other characteristics of each pilot's fingers and create a relevant database, the release said.The data will be transferred to manufacturers.

    ``The new gloves are designed to help resolve the discomfort of pilots operating aircraft worth of tens of billions of won,'' said Lt. Col. Huh Nam-hee, chief of the Air Force's logistics support team. ``The gloves will also help improve pilots' aircraft operational skills to a great extent.''

    Currently, only eight different sizes of gloves are available, he said. The Air Force plans to create a database of all of its pilots' hand scans by September, the officer added.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009

    ---------- Post added at 12:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:34 PM ----------

    South Korea May Export Self-Propelled Guns to Australia


    Chances remain high for Samsung Techwin, teamed with Raytheon of the United States, to win a $450 million deal to provide the Australian army with 155mm self-propelled artillery systems, procurement officials here said. The expectation comes after a consortium led by a German firm, according to an official, failed to participate in final tender negotiations with the Australian government.

    Teamed with BAE Systems Australia, the German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann was seeking to supply its PZH-2000 guns to the Australian army, which wants to acquire about 18 self-propelled and towed guns. The Samsung-Raytheon team is offering the AS-9 gun, a modified version of the K-9 weapon.

    ``We're told that the German firm has failed to submit additional documents required by the Australian government,'' an official of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said, asking not to be named. ``We don't think the German firm will drop out of the competition, but it's true that our team has got the upper hand in negotiations.''

    A final bidder is expected to be announced as early as September, he said. Earlier, reports said the Germany firm raised problems with intellectual property as well as a requirement for more equitable risk-sharing in its decision not to take part in negotiations. Developed jointly with the state-funded Agency for Defense Development, the K-9 is an indigenous all-welded steel armor construction rated to withstand impact by 14.5-mm armor piercing shells and 152- mm shell fragments.

    It carries a 155 mm/52 caliber gun with a maximum firing range of 40 kilometers. State-of-the-art mobility subsystems include a 1,000-horsepower engine and a hydropneumatic suspension unit, a requirement for Korea's rugged mountainous terrain.



    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009
     
  8. Mig-29

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    South Korea to Sell Multiple Rocket Launchers to Jordan


    South Korea's Hanhwa Corporation will export about 20 lightweight 70mm multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Jordan, according to officials at the company and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). A contract will be signed in August, they said.

    Under the proposed contract, Hanwha will help Jordan develop two prototypes of the mid-sized rocket launcher with technology transfer and begin production after two years of trials. ``Hanwha will transfer key MLRS technologies regarding a launch pad, fire-and-control system and navigation equipment to Jordan under the deal," said a DAPA official, who declined to comment on the exact scale of the deal.

    Hanwha is also negotiating with Libya on the export of the 70mm MLRS, he added. Designed for firepower support for infantry regiments, it has a range of 8 kilometers and can fire up to 40 rockets within 10 minutes.

    The company developed the system in 2000. It has already undergone trials with the South Korean Army, but has yet to be deployed in the field. Hanwha has already produced and deployed 130mm (36-round) MLRS with the Army since the early 1980s.

    In April, DAPA approved a plan to develop an indigenous 65-kilometer-range 230mm MLRS by 2013 to replace the 130mm MLRS fleet with a range of 36 kilometers and improve the Army's counter-artillery capability against North Korea. Hanwha will take charge of system integration and build guided and non-guided rockets, while Doosan DST will build the launch pad and vehicle, the agency said.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009
     
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    South Korea Launching a Rocket of Its Own Into Space

     
  10. luoshan

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    S Korea's space rocket launch suspended, launch unlikely Wednesday

     
  11. Mig-29

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    Glitch forces SKorea to abort rocket launch


    By HYUNG-JIN KIM

    A technical glitch forced South Korea to abort liftoff of its first rocket into space Wednesday, delaying a launch that threatened to heat up tensions with rival North Korea even as they joined in mourning the death of an ex-president who pushed tirelessly for reconciliation. Both Koreas are eager to develop their space programs, and had aimed to launch satellites into space this year. Pyongyang beat Seoul to it with the April liftoff of a three-stage rocket it claimed sent a communications satellite into orbit, although experts doubt it really succeeded. Washington, Tokyo and others called it a disguised a test of its long-range missile technology since the same rocket can be used to fire off a missile. The U.N. Security Council condemned the launch, saying it was a violation of resolutions banning the North from ballistic missile-related activity.

    The South's planned launch could prove a setback to recent signs of easing tensions, marked by a meeting this month between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with former President Bill Clinton, and the releases of two American journalists and a South Korean technician from the North's custody. The North this week also agreed to resume some joint tourism and industry projects with the South, and on Wednesday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats, which he described it as a "hopeful sign" of improving relations with the reclusive nation. Yet as South Korea geared up to put its new rocket on the launchpad, North Korea warned that it would be "watching closely" for the international response to Seoul's launch.

    "Their reaction and attitude towards South Korea's satellite launch will once again clearly prove whether the principle of equality exists or has collapsed," a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency. South Korea's launch was set for Wednesday from the Naro Space Center off the southern coast, but was abruptly aborted less than eight minutes before liftoff, senior Science Ministry official Lee Sang-mok said. The two-stage rocket, called the Naro and built with Russian help, would have been South Korea's first satellite launch from its own territory.

    South Korean and Russian scientists were investigating the malfunction that forced officials to stop the launch, and Russian scientists believed another attempt could take place within days, Lee said. He said trouble with a high-pressure tank that helps operate valves in the launch vehicle may have been the problem. Despite the North's objections, U.S. and South Korean officials say the two rocket launches cannot be compared, noting that South Korea has carried out the process transparently, and for peaceful purposes, while the North has not abided by its international commitments.

    The two Koreas remain in a state of war since their conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953. Relations have been tense since President Lee Myung-bak took office in Seoul in February 2008, abandoning late ex-President Kim Dae-jung's "Sunshine Policy" of encouraging reconciliation with aid. This week, North Korea put its army on "special alert" as the U.S. and South Korea held joint military exercises in the South. Washington and Seoul say the annual computer-simulated war games, which began Monday, are purely defensive. But North Korea's Foreign Ministry warned they were "aggravating" tensions on the Korean peninsula.

    "Lurking behind them is a dangerous scheme for aggression to mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack," the ministry said in a statement carried by KCNA. Yet in the latest sign of a thaw, two North Korean diplomats from the country's U.N. mission met with Richardson, who was U.N. ambassador during Clinton's administration and as a congressman in the 1990s went to North Korea twice to secure the release of detained Americans. Richardson declined to comment on the substance of Wednesday's talks or say why the North Koreans had requested the meeting with him.

    Also, Kim Jong-Il sent condolences to the family of former leader of the South, Kim Dae-jung, who died Tuesday at age 85 after a lifetime of fighting for democracy and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. The two leaders met in a historic summit in 2000 — the first between the two Koreas. "The feats he performed to achieve national reconciliation and realize the desire for reunification will remain long with the nation," KCNA quoted the North Korean leader as saying.

    North Korean officials have conveyed their wish to send a delegation to pay their respects to Kim, lawmaker Park Jie-won, a former aide to Kim Dae-Jung, said Wednesday. Pyongyang has only ever dispatched a condolence delegation for one other South Korean: the industrialist Chung Ju-yung, founder of the Hyundai Group, which funded the first inter-Korean joint projects. The South Korean government was discussing whether to allow the North's delegation to visit, Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. Thousands lined up in Seoul to lay white chrysanthemums before a portrait of the longtime dissident-turned-president, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his reconciliation efforts. "It feels as if my heart is being torn," Yang Young-sim, a 58-year-old housewife, said between sobs. "He is a man who has devoted his entire life to Korea's democracy." North Koreans in Pyongyang were also mourning Kim, according to the Choson Sinbo, a Tokyo-based newspaper viewed as a mouthpiece for the North Korean government.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: Glitch forces SKorea to abort rocket launch
     
  12. Mig-29

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    Camp Humphreys battalion swaps Apaches for upgraded models


    The Army’s only Apache attack helicopter unit in South Korea will soon trade in its entire fleet for a new and more lethal model. The 4th Battalion (Attack), 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Humphreys will make the swap a few aircraft at a time, starting in September.The battalion’s 24 AH-64D Apache Longbows are the Block 1, Version 6 variant. They’ll be exchanged for the newest model — the Block 2, Version 11.

    “It’s a one-for-one exchange,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Craig D. Yerdon, the battalion’s standardization instructor pilot. “By the end of the year, all of our aircraft will be traded in.” Boeing produces the Apache, a two-seater attack helicopter, at a factory in Mesa, Ariz., Yerdon said. The new Apaches will be airlifted from Fort Hood, Texas, to Osan Air Base aboard Air Force C-17 Globemaster transports, he said. A C-17 can carry three Apaches.

    Six will be transported to Osan each month; once they’re unloaded, six older Apaches will be loaded and carried to the U.S. The new helos will be reassembled, inspected and then flown to Humphreys. Yerdon said battalion pilots welcome the newest Apache model, which has several key improvements. One is the improved cockpit map display that will allow pilots to use digital map images to see terrain and other topographical features.

    The Block 1s provide only “a stick map depiction” of their planned route, on a blank background. To see what the surrounding terrain looks like at a given spot, pilots have to leaf through a thick book of hard-copy maps.“So it drastically increases pilot situational awareness, reduces our workload … so he’s not scrambling … through that map book” in the cockpit, Yerdon said.

    Another improvement is the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight, or M-TADS, a canister-like device mounted at the Apache’s front. It contains a forward looking infrared — or FLIR — with improved resolution and acuity to allow pilots to pick up targets more clearly at longer distances on their display screens. The new FLIR in the M-TADS can also help pilots see terrain features and other objects better and thus fly more safely at night, Yerdon said.“We will increase both safety — flying, because we can identify hazards and obstacles better — but will also increase lethality because we can look further and see the enemy further away than we can currently,” Yerdon said.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: August 2009
     
  13. Mig-29

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    Camp Humphreys battalion swaps Apaches for upgraded models

    The Army’s only Apache attack helicopter unit in South Korea will soon trade in its entire fleet for a new and more lethal model. The 4th Battalion (Attack), 2nd Aviation Regiment at Camp Humphreys will make the swap a few aircraft at a time, starting in September.The battalion’s 24 AH-64D Apache Longbows are the Block 1, Version 6 variant. They’ll be exchanged for the newest model — the Block 2, Version 11.

    “It’s a one-for-one exchange,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Craig D. Yerdon, the battalion’s standardization instructor pilot. “By the end of the year, all of our aircraft will be traded in.” Boeing produces the Apache, a two-seater attack helicopter, at a factory in Mesa, Ariz., Yerdon said. The new Apaches will be airlifted from Fort Hood, Texas, to Osan Air Base aboard Air Force C-17 Globemaster transports, he said. A C-17 can carry three Apaches.

    Six will be transported to Osan each month; once they’re unloaded, six older Apaches will be loaded and carried to the U.S. The new helos will be reassembled, inspected and then flown to Humphreys. Yerdon said battalion pilots welcome the newest Apache model, which has several key improvements. One is the improved cockpit map display that will allow pilots to use digital map images to see terrain and other topographical features.

    The Block 1s provide only “a stick map depiction” of their planned route, on a blank background. To see what the surrounding terrain looks like at a given spot, pilots have to leaf through a thick book of hard-copy maps.“So it drastically increases pilot situational awareness, reduces our workload … so he’s not scrambling … through that map book” in the cockpit, Yerdon said.

    Another improvement is the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight, or M-TADS, a canister-like device mounted at the Apache’s front. It contains a forward looking infrared — or FLIR — with improved resolution and acuity to allow pilots to pick up targets more clearly at longer distances on their display screens. The new FLIR in the M-TADS can also help pilots see terrain features and other objects better and thus fly more safely at night, Yerdon said.“We will increase both safety — flying, because we can identify hazards and obstacles better — but will also increase lethality because we can look further and see the enemy further away than we can currently,” Yerdon said.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: Camp Humphreys battalion swaps Apaches for upgraded models
     
  14. Mig-29

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    South Korea toys with four options to build indigenous attack helicopter

    An attack derivative of the Surion utility helicopter is shaping up as a likely project to sustain Korea Aerospace Industries’ hard-won aeronautics development skills. As the engineering effort on the Surion winds down, other projects that could keep the company’s engineers busy include a civil aircraft, such as the regional jet revealed last year, and the KFX fighter.

    The need for development work is clearly driving the push for a home-grown attack helicopter, since foreign producers already offer advanced models whose price and performance could be difficult for Korea Aerospace, a new arrival in the rotary-wing business, to improve on. The South Korean government and industry are considering four alternative schemes under the Korean Attack Helicopter program to fill the requirement for 274 aircraft to replace about 70 Bell AH-1Ss and 270 Hughes 500s from 2018:

    •A simple addition of stub wings and weapons to the Surion. With 87% commonality with the Surion, development of this model would take four years and cost 200 billion won ($160 million), Korea Aerospace says. The unit price would be 21 billion won. •A new stepped cockpit grafted on to the Surion cabin, along with the wings and weapon systems, with 73% commonality. Development time and cost would rise to five years and 700 billion won, and unit cost to 23.1 billion won.

    •A new body, including cockpit, but otherwise retaining as much as possible from the Surion, notably the power train, and offering 63% commonality. This aircraft would need six years and up to 1 trillion won for development and would cost 24.8 billion won per unit.

    •An attack helicopter unrelated to the Surion. This could be an adaptation of a foreign design.

    None of these concepts will be free from criticism.

    The first two seem to be highly compromised in the quest for commonality, since the engines would have to haul around the mass of a transport helicopter body that would offer little advantage in an attack mission while offering a larger, more sluggish target.


    The second option is visually similar to the 12-ton Mil Mi-24 assault and attack helicopter, but the South Korean aircraft would not act in such a role, striking from the air and landing infantry to assault from the ground. A scale model shows that the design has no large doors for infantry, and that the cabin could be obstructed by carry-through structure of the mid-mounted wings.

    All three proposed derivatives may be open to the charge they are bigger than necessary, a result of the choice of the power train from the 8.7-metric-ton Surion.

    The Korean Attack Helicopter program has been aimed at developing a light- to medium-size aircraft, akin to the 6-ton Eurocopter Tiger. South Korea’s AH-1s have a 4.5-ton maximum weight.

    But the rating of the Surion’s two General Electric T700-GE-701K turboshafts—each at 1,383 kw. (1,854 hp.) for 10 min.—would put an attack derivative in the same class as the Boeing AH-64 Apache, which has a design mission gross weight of 8 tons and an overload ferry-mission weight of 10.4 tons.

    The South Korean armed forces have sought Apaches, but only 36. That effort may be dropped in favor of the Korean Attack Helicopter.

    If the proposal for an aircraft unrelated to the Surion produced an all-new design, it would face criticism as a costly reinvention of what was already available. A new helicopter would, however, offer to greatly extend the rotary-wing skills that Korea Aerospace has learned from developing Surion with help from Eurocopter (AW&ST Aug. 10, p. 34).

    Any of the three derivative designs would add to the considerable production run of components for the 245 Surions that the armed forces and government have said are required. A derivative attack helicopter would result in South Korea building 519 related helicopters.

    Foreign support for attack helicopter development would also be likely, with Eurocopter well placed for the work.

    The Surion has been developed under the Korean Utility Helicopter program, the survivor of the former Korean Multirole Helicopter program, which also encompassed an attack helicopter until that element was dropped in January 2005 to reduce development risks.

    The attack derivatives of the Surion therefore revive the original proposal for two helicopter types under a single broad program.

    One military official tells the Yonhap news agency that development must begin next year for entry into service by 2018. The national security council directed in 2005 that no decision on the attack helicopter be taken before an assessment of the Surion, now due by October 2010. The finance ministry is accordingly refusing to release the first 3 billion won of development funding for the attack helicopter until then.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: South Korea toys with four options to build indigenous attack helicopter
     
  15. Mig-29

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    South Korean rocket fails to reach full orbit

    South Korea's space program suffered a blow Tuesday after a satellite launched from its first space rocket failed to reach proper orbit, a science official said.

    "All aspects of the launch were normal, but the satellite exceeded its planned orbit and reached an altitude of 360 kilometers," said Ahn Byung-man, the minister of science and technology. The satellite should have separated at about 302 kilometers, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

    The cause of the failure was not immediately known. Korean experts were working with Russian scientists, who provided the technology for launch, to determine the reason, Ahn said.

    The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 lifted off from the Naro Space Center on the southern coast about 5 p.m. (4 a.m. ET) Tuesday.

    A series of delays had kept the rocket and its satellite payload earthbound for nearly four years, including a technical glitch that halted last week's countdown less than eight minutes before blastoff.

    South Korea spent 502 billion won (US $402 million) on the rocket, which is part of an ambitious plan to jump-start the country's space program, Yonhap reported.


    Officials plan another rocket launch in April. The long-term goal is to create an unmanned space probe that can reach the moon by 2025, the agency reported.

    The rocket was originally scheduled to be launched in late 2005, before being pushed back to October 2007 and then 2008 due to "administrative and diplomatic reasons," Yonhap reported.

    ASIAN DEFENCE: South Korean rocket fails to reach full orbit