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NIKON D3 | Shutter priority | 1/800sec | F/7.1 | ISO-200 | 2012:01:17 14:09:15

By Lee Tae-hoon, THE KOREA TIMES

At least 7 percent of F-15Ks, the most advanced fighter jets that Korea has ever purchased, have been flying with a malfunctioning electronic countermeasures (ECM) system over the past few years, according to multiple sources Thursday.

No less than four of the country’s 52 F-15Ks in service are operating with a defective ALQ-135M, an internal ECM system manufactured and supplied only to Korea by Northrop Grumman, they said. 

“Korea has set aside $56 million to procure six ALQ-135Ms to use them as spare parts as the critical electronic warfare suite of the F-15Ks frequently breaks down,” a senior government official said. 

“Nevertheless, we have been facing great difficulties in procuring them mainly because the customized advanced ECM system is used only in Korea and is no longer manufactured.”

A senior Air Force official noted that the operational rate of F-15Ks, the mainstay of the country’s Air Force fighter fleet, is estimated to be about 84 percent, and that about 7 percent of them fly with defective self-protection measures. 

“The rate of fully operational F-15Ks is estimated to be at 77 percent or lower,” he said asking for anonymity. “If an enemy fires a missile toward an F-15K with a faulty ALQ-135M, the pilot will most likely fail to notice the imminent threat and lose the chance to avoid it.” 

The ALQ-135M is capable of helping a fighter jet manage and defeat multiple threats simultaneously, prioritizing and neutralizing the most imminent dangers. It significantly increases the chance of dodging incoming missiles and provides optimal countermeasures based upon the mission environment, threat lethality and mission priority.

“Pilots flying an F-15K with a malfunctioning ALQ-135M will be unaware of the danger when an enemy fighter locks onto their aircraft and fires a missile,” the Air Force official said. 

Military insiders said that Korea must address the defective ALQ-135Ms as soon as possible because the survival rate of an $80-million F-15K is seriously undermined without the countermeasure in combat. 

They stressed the country has been having difficulty securing parts for F-15Ks largely because 73 percent, or 159 of the 219 electronic warfare system parts, are uniquely designed to meet the needs of the Korean Air Force. 

“I assure that Korea will not make a mistake again and buy a fighter jet with unique components,” a senior government source said. 

The official noted the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is negotiating with the U.S. government for possible sales of ALQ-135s through Foreign Military Sales.

Defense insiders say that the U.S. government informed Korea that it will take about 26 to 32 months to deliver new ALQ-135s upon signing a contract, which will be only possible after June 15. 

They argued that Korea should purchase them through commercial sales as the delivery time for the ECM systems can be significantly shortened. 

The unit cost for the first lot of 40 F-15K airframes and engines (fly away cost) was 75.3 billion won ($84.4 million), but rose to 87.66 billion won for the second lot of 20. 

The maintenance cost for Korea’s F-15Ks has jumped nearly 10-fold over the past four years, from 9.7 billion won in 2008 to 95.82 billion won in 2011, according to a National Assembly document.
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방위사업청(청장 노대래)과 ADD(국방과학연구소)는 28일 “전차와 장갑차 등 지상전투차량의 생존성을 획기적으로 향상시킬 수 있는 ‘능동파괴체계’를 국내 독자기술로 개발하는데 성공했다”고 밝혔다.

APS(능동파괴체계)는 2006년부터 ADD(국방과학연구소) 국방신기술센터가 독자 한국군 전력화를 위해서 정부가 지원한  연구개발을 통하 체계와 시스템을 개발했다. 능동파괴체계 시스템은 3차원 탐지추적레이더, 열상탐지추적기, 통제컴퓨터, 발사장치 및 대응탄으로 구성돼 있다.

이번에 개발에 성공한 K2전차의 ‘능동파괴체계(APS : Active Protection System : 능동방어시스템)’는 전차를 향해 날아오는 RPG-7이나 대전차 미사일을 레이더나 열영상 센서가 발견하면, 통제 컴퓨터가 0.2~0.3초 이내에 자동으로 적의 로켓탄이나 미사일을 파괴하는 무기를 발사한다. 사거리는 150m 내외다. 예상 단가는 4발 패키지로 6억7,000만 원.

방위사업청은 “순수 국내 기술로 개발된 ‘능동파괴체계’는 추가 장갑이나 전차 자체의 보호 능력 강화에만 의존하던 수동적 방어에서 나아가 전차를 향해 날아오는 적 미사일과 로켓을 근거리에서 무력화시키는 적극적 능동방호 기술로 K2 흑표 전차에 1차 적용할 핵심기술”이라고 설명했다. APS는 직접타격하는 Hard-Kill 파편으로타격하는 Soft-Kill타입 2가지가 개발중이거나 장착된것으로 알려져 있다. 

현재 해외에서는 휴대의 RPG의 공격에 의한 피해가 확대되자 APS시스템을 RPG가 공격 당할 수 있는 전술장비에 설치 및 기술개발을 하고 잇다. 해외 사례를 보면, 이스라엘의 메르카바 전차에 ‘트로피’ 능동방어체계, 러시아의 T-80 전차에는 ‘아레나-E’ 능동방어체계를 사용하고 있다. 

 [독일의 AWISS 하드 킬 시스템 ]

방사청은 “이번에 개발한 APS을 기반으로 향후 함정, 헬기 등은 물론 고정시설(국가주요시설) 등을 방호하는 기술에도 응용하여 개발할 계획에 있다."라고 밝혔다.

/ MediaPaper.KR  mediapaper@ymail.com  Sejin Oh 

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그동안 여러 언론사의 보도 했던 대한민국 공군의 차기 전투기 FX-3차 사업 특혜 의혹이,  미국 언론에 노출된 "한국 F-35 구매 약속" 언급보도로 인해 특혜 가능성 높다는 여론이 높아지고 있다.

최근 국내 여러언론에서 FX-3사업에 사업자가 미국의 록히드마틴사의 F-35A(블럭3)로 사전 선정 되었다는 기사가 연합뉴스, 코리아타임즈, 경향신문등 의혹의 기사를 통해서 논란이 되어 왔다.

현재 방위사업청(DAPA) FX-3차 사업은 기종선정에 8개월의 시간이 있어, 여러가지 항목(도입비용, 작전 요구성능 충족성, 운영 및 상호 적합성)과 구매혜택(경제기술적옵션)등 150여개 항목을 조건을 저울질하고 있는 시점에서 유력한 사업자의 부사장의 코멘트에서 구체적으로 언급된것이 미 언론사에 지난 4일에 공개가 되어 파장이 일어나고 있다.

특히 방위사업청의 FX-3차는 미국의 록히드 마틴(F-35)과 보잉(F-15E), 유럽항공방위우주산업(EADS)의 유로파이터(타이푼)이 참여할 예정이고 여러국가에서 참가의향을 보이고 있는 상태다.

특히 록히드 마틴과 경쟁하기위해서 파격적인 혜택을 제시하고 있는 유럽항공방위우주산업(EADS)의 반발이 예상된다.

/ MediaPaper.KR mediapaper@ymail.com  Sejin Oh

[ 록히드매틴사 F-35 사진인용, 한국에 공급되는 F-35A 블럭3 와는 틀린 수직이착륙이 가능한 F-35C / The F-35C is designed to takeoff from and land on an aircraft carrier. Only the United States has ordered the carrier variant of the F-35 so far.]

[ http://www.nwfdailynews.com 기사 본문내용 February 04, 2012 4:53 PM ]

Lockheed: Foreign investors will offset F-35 program


FORT WALTON BEACH — Eglin Air Force Base may be able to boast the largest F-35 fleet in the world, but the Joint Strike Fighter is most certainly a global project.

Representatives from Lockheed Martin’s F-35 team met with local media recently to present a pro-gram-wide update on the Joint Strike Fighter. The $50 billion development program for the U.S. government is being offset by more than $35 billion in investments from foreign countries.

The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Turkey, Canada and Norway are partner countries that have contributed to the development of the F-35 and have been involved with the program since 2002. The seven countries have committed to buying a total of about 800 of the jets.

“That means since this is the only maintenance training base for the F-35, (Eglin) will be hosting all seven countries,” said Stephen O’Bryan, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program integration. “You have a significant amount of international commitment to the program, and obviously you have the three services which will have jets and all three versions will be down here this year.”

The U.K. and the Netherlands will be the first partners to receive its jets at Eglin.

All F-35s coming out of Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth-based aeronautics center next year are expected to remain in the United States. In 2014, F-35s will be delivered to Italy and Australia, followed by more deliveries to the U.K. and Turkey in 2015. Japan, Norway and Israel will get them in 2016, along with Canada in 2017 and Denmark in 2018.

Although they have not helped fund the development of the F-35, Israel and Japan have agreed to purchase Joint Strike Fighters, O’Bryan said. In addition to the $65 million price tag for each jet, those countries will pay a recoupment fee to help make up some of the program’s development costs.

Additionally, South Korea and Singapore are also interested in the jets and will hold open competitions to determine which fifth generation fighter jet they will purchase.

O’Bryan said if Israel, Singapore, Japan and South Korea were to sign of with the F-35, the four countries are expected to order more jets than the seven partner countries that contributed to the program’s development.

Construction is ongoing in Italy on its $1 billion Final Assembly and Checkout Facility. The project is designed to take the parts completed in Fort Worth and finish the final 20 percent of assembly on the Italian F-35s.

Read more: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/fort-47230-investors-lockheed.html#ixzz1ln9usHw2
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