US firm Honeywell is in discussions to upgrade a number of South Korean aircraft types as part of a wider effort to increase its national and regional portfolio.
Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) on 17 October, Tim Van Luven, vice-president of Honeywell's Asia-Pacific Defense and Space division, confirmed that the company is in discussions with the South Korean government to modernise a number of rotary- and fixed-wing platforms as it seeks to expand its presence in the country and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Van Luven said that a proposal had been submitted to upgrade South Korea’s fleet of Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, and confirmed ongoing discussions concerning the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, and the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T/FA-50 Golden/Fighting Eagle jet trainer and light attack aircraft.
“We have submitted our proposal to upgrade the engines of the Chinook fleet, which will offer more power with less fuel and greater reliability,” Van Luven said, noting that Honeywell would outsource the work to its South Korean partner Hanhwa if the bid were successful. The contract would cover 28 older-model and 14 newer Chinook helicopters, with a request for proposals expected to be issued before the end of 2017.
Regarding its Black Hawk proposals, Van Luven said that Honeywell was currently in discussions with the South Korean government, and that the company would submit its proposals to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) for reliability modifications and upgrades. Honeywell’s involvement in such a programme would cover auxiliary power units (APUs) and generators for more than 130 Black Hawks in the RoKA’s inventory.
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