South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved a plan to procure additional airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) and Baekdu spy planes for a combined worth of $2.045 billion.
The AWE&C project aims at introducing new aircraft by 2027. Valued at 1.59 trillion won ($1.32 billion), it will be launched next year, local media reported citing the arms procurement agency.
South Korean military currently operates four Boeing 737-based Peace Eye aircraft it bought nearly a decade ago. The 737 AEW&C aircraft has an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and 10 mission crew consoles to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously. The mission crew can direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.
South Korea’s Defense Project Promotion Committee has given the go-ahead for a project to buy advanced Baekdu spy planes. The plan will be pushed for between 2021 and 2026 with 870 billion won ($725 million).
The military currently operates four Raytheon Hawker 800XP aircraft-based Baekdu SIGINT planes bought in 2000.
DAPA plans to equip the new planes with indigenous systems. The upgraded units are expected to improve South Korea SIGINT capabilities.