South Korea develops prototype of advanced radar system

10 August 2020 (Last Updated August 10th, 2020 12:20)

South Korea has developed a prototype of the advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system for its homegrown fighter jet KF-X that is currently under development.

South Korea develops prototype of advanced radar system
KF-X fighter jet resembles the fifth-generation F-35A. Credit: USAF / Master Sgt Donald R Allen.

South Korea has developed a prototype of the advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system for its homegrown fighter jet KF-X that is currently under development.

As an important part of the development of the fighter aircraft, Agency for Defense Development has been developing the AESA radar system since 2016, reported Yonhap News Agency.

Called the eyes of the fighter jet, the advanced radar system can identify and track several targets extensively at the same time.

The beam of radio waves emitted from the system is electronically sent in different directions without the antenna moving.

This year, the prototype of the advanced radar system will be deployed on a mock-up of KF-X.

According to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the radar system will be put through other procedures such as flight tests and systems integration until 2026.

ADD official said: “We need to develop software for this gadget, which will be a quite challenging task. We will zero in on it by making the best use of our experience in making other types of radar.”

According to the official, the radar can be compared with the ones developed by the US and China.

It is expected to be deployed with other weapons systems such as FA-50 fighters and vessels in the future.

As the US reportedly denied the transfer of related technologies in 2015, South Korea began developing its own radar systems.

During a ceremony, marking the release of the prototype, DAPA official Choi Ho-cheon said: “I expect the radar and the fighter aircraft to be highly competitive in the global market.”

In 2016, South Korea launched the KRW8.8tn ($7.43bn) KF-X project to build indigenous fighter jet by 2026 so that it can replace the ageing fleet of F-4 and F-5 aircraft.

KF-X is designed to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.81 and its flying range can touch 2,900km.

Its design resembles the fifth-generation F-35A, according to the Korea Aerospace Industries Co (KAI), which is responsible for the project.

The jet will have a maximum payload of 7,700kg and will be able to accommodate ten pods for missiles and fuel barrels.

Furthermore, it will be able to carry many types of air-to-air missiles.