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L3Harris, Korean Air, ELTA Team Up for South Korean AEW&C Planes

L3Harris has announced a partnership with Korean Air and ELTA Systems to develop new high-altitude airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) planes for the South Korean Air Force.

The proposed aircraft will employ modular digital capabilities, allowing Seoul to conduct affordable and rapid upgrades to keep pace with evolving threats and newer operational approaches.

The plane will be used for higher-altitude and longer-range surveillance missions.

After the delivery of the prototype aircraft, the program will be Korean industry-led. Structural modifications will take place in Texas before integration and radar testing commences at ELTA’s Israel facility.

Securing Solutions

The program’s AEW&C planes will be based on L3Harris’ platform design incorporating Bombardier’s Global 6500 high-altitude business jet, and will include radar technology and AI algorithms developed by ELTA.

L3Harris Strategic Collection & Targeting Programs managing director Mark Kobussen shared that implementing the Bombardier business jet was a decisive choice to keep the deal low-risk and low-cost.

“Between AEW&C Batch II, Stand-Off Jammer and ISTAR, L3Harris has a common Global 6500 configuration based on current programs that satisfies all of these missions, with a communications suite and datalinks compatible with other U.S. and allied programs,” he added.

A History of Partnership

L3Harris has provided defense technologies and solutions to the South Korean Air Force for more than two decades, developing new capabilities for the Air Force and Navy.

In October, the company was contracted by Korea Aerospace Industries to provide surveillance and targeting systems for its Marine Attack Helicopter fleet.

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