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Navy Armed w/ 8 More P3C Patrol Planes

Posted June. 28, 2001 19:41,   


Navy will import 8 P3C patrol planes to improve its surveillance capability on and under the sea by the year of 2006.

In addition, the radar and operation systems of the Aegis-class destroyer (KDX3) will be decided by early next year and the `dream destroyer` will be deployed in 2008.

The Ministry of Defense revealed yesterday the plan in its `The National Defense Mid-term Projects 2002 - 2006` and `The Budget Demand for the National Defense 2002.`

The Navy introduced the 8 P3C patrol planes in 1996 and has been operating them in the West and East Seas. However, it has been indicated that the maritime surveillance with those 8 planes is very limited.

The P3C patrol planes are able to perform the maritime surveillance and submarine detection and attack in the operating radius of 2700 km for 15 hours by an operation flight.

The construction project of the next generation Aegis-class destroyer (KDX3) was already launched with the basic design by the Hyundai Heavy Industries. The Navy will choose the successful bidder for the weapons system by August or September and will complete the test evaluation and the purchase negotiation by the end of this year. The Ministry of Defense will accept the letters of intention from the U.S. Lockheed Marin for the Aegis system, the British BAE for the Samson system, and Netherlands` Thales for the APAR system by July 20.

New projects for next year include the Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems aircraft (AWACS) project and the foundation of the 30 mm Air Defense Artillery `Biho (flying tiger) Battalion.` For the import of AWACS, the Military already received the letters of intention from Boeing and Raytheon of the U.S. and Thales of Netherlands.

In addition, the Mid-term National Defense Projects include the development of light tank and intermediate ranger missile (KMSAM), the acquisition of the 90-tons fast landing ships (LSF), the mine sweepers (MSH) and the jumbo transport planes (C130).

Meanwhile, in case of the large scale weapon acquisition projects such as the next generation air fighters (FX), a new missile system (SAMX), and attack helicopters (AHX), military sources revealed that the negotiations with foreign companies are underway for the price and the transfer of the technical know-how and the final decision will be made around October.

Particularly as to the SAM-X project, since the sole bidder Raytheon of the U.S. still demands a high price for the Patriot missiles (PAC 3), even though the firm recently lowered the price by 5 percent, the Military is known to be re-considering the whole project.

Lee Chol-Hi klimt@donga.com