S. Korea endorses key projects to upgrade F-15K fighters, buy refueling tankers

SEOUL– South Korea approved major projects Wednesday to upgrade combat capabilities of its F-15K fighters and import aerial refueling tankers, the state arms procurement agency said, in a move to counter evolving North Korean threats.

The Defense Project Promotion Committee passed a 3.46 trillion won (US$2.73 billion) project to strengthen the mission capabilities and survivability of the F-15K jets from 2024-2034, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The project includes replacing the current F-15Ks’ old radar system with the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and installing integrated electronic warfare equipment and an up-to-date mission computer.

The committee also gave the green light to a 1.2 trillion won project to purchase foreign-made refueling tankers from 2024-2029.

DAPA did not disclose how many tankers will be imported, but it is expected to buy two tankers. Potential candidates for the project could include Boeing’s KC-46 and Airbus A-330 MRTT, observers said.

The commission, in addition, approved a 673 billion won project to improve combat capabilities of the Navy’s 4,400-ton KDX-II destroyers from 2024-2033. It is designed to replace old components with new, advanced ones, such as a towed array sonar system.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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