L3Harris Technologies has signed a teaming agreement with two aerospace companies to deliver airborne early warning platform to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).
The two companies include South Korea’s Korean Air Lines and Israel Aerospace Industries’ ELTA Systems Group (IAI/ELTA).
As the prime contractor, L3Harris will provide next-generation high-altitude airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft that will feature IAI/ELTA’s advanced radar and artificial intelligence algorithms.
The integration of this technology with the first two AEW&C aircraft will take place at ELTA’s Israel-based facility.
Prior to the integration work, the two aircraft will undergo structural modifications in Texas, US.
For remaining aircraft, the modification and evaluation activities will be performed by Korean Air in South Korea.
This arrangement will allow the three companies to expand aircraft mission integration capability in South Korea, while improving the country’s aircraft readiness at lower operational costs.
The platform is expected to be based on L3Harris’ platform design that uses Bombardier’s Global 6500 business jet. However, L3Harris has not specified the total number of aircraft to be delivered to the ROKAF.
L3Harris ISR president Luke Savoie said: “For more than two decades, this team has been delivering missionised aircraft to strengthen ROK’s ability to defend its freedom.”
In a separate development, the ROKAF and the US Air Force (USAF) have carried out integrated aerial drills under the ongoing exercise Freedom Shield-23.
Held on 19 March over the Korean Peninsula, the exercise saw participation of USAF’s B-1B strategic bombers, F-16 fighter jets and ROKAF’s F-35A aircraft.
The exercises were conducted to demonstrate US-ROK’s defence capabilities and extended deterrence in response to North Korea’s recent missile launches.
To showcase collective defence, the USAF’s two B-1 and four F-16s also performed combined drills with Japanese Air Self-Defense Force’s F-15 fighter aircraft over the Sea of Japan.