Boeing-built third Peace Eye 737 AEW&C aircraft

The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has received its third Peace Eye 737 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing at ROKAF Base Gimhae, South Korea, ahead of schedule.

The delivery follows a $1.6bn contract awarded by ROKAF to Boeing for four Peace Eye aircraft and ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance in November 2006.

The third Peace Eye is the fleet’s second aircraft to be modified into an AEW&C configuration by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) at its Sacheon facility, South Korea.

The aircraft, based on a next-generation 737-700 commercial airplane, incorporates Northrop Grumman’s multimode electronically scanned array (MESA) radar and ten mission crew consoles that can track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously.

The aircraft provides airborne-battle-management capability and features an identification ‘friend or foe’ (IFF) system, electronic support and communications measures, and electronic warning and self-protection system.

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Powered by dual CFM International CFM56-7B24 engines, the aircraft is equipped with a fixed probe to enable dual in-flight refuelling capability, dual annular combustor for low emissions capability, common core and low pressure turbine.

The 737 AEW&C, capable of flying at a maximum altitude of 41,000ft and a top speed of 340kt, will help airmen to select coordinates and flight path data, and transfer the information to commanders.

The aircraft deployment will not only allow the mission crew to direct offensive and defensive forces but also help maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.

Boeing’s 737 -based AEW&C aircraft are also being produced for the Australian and Turkish Governments.

The fourth and final aircraft is currently being modified by KAI and is scheduled for delivery to ROKAF in 2012.

Image: Boeing-built third Peace Eye 737 AEW&C aircraft at the KAI facility in Sacheon. Photo: courtesy of The Boeing Company.