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AWACS Delay Worries Defense Analysts

Posted August. 09, 2006 04:30,   


The airborne warning and control system (AWACS) provided by Boeing E737s recently is a key component of Korea’s ability under the circumstances of receiving wartime operational control from the U.S. However, there is a worry that the introduction of four E737s will be delayed to 2012, due to a delayed selection of planes more than a year. Moreover, it will also take a considerable amount of time to train in the capability to use them.

Also, there are further criticisms on the opinion of the Ministry of National Defense, which advocates the ability of multi-purpose satellites to supervise North Korea. There need to be at least three or four satellites furnished with brand-new cameras to observe certain places constantly. To make things worse, there are more obstacles in the nighttime or in inclement weather to photograph, and it takes long time to train experts who can read satellite images.

In particular, the Defense Support Program is indispensable to detect North Korea’s missile launch or the operation of nuclear facilities. “Korea can get into a difficult situation when it receives the wartime operational control only by relying on just a few multi-purpose satellites,” an airspace expert said.