ADEX 2021: Persistent threat from North Korea drives RoKAF modernisation

by Gareth Jennings

A RoKAF F-15K Slam Eagle flies alongside a Peace Eye AEW&C platform. Both platforms have featured in the service's modernisation efforts over years, geared at addressing the persistent threat from North Korea. (Boeing)

Despite an increased emphasis on participating in multinational operations over recent years, the focus for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) remains in countering the persistent threat from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the north.

As noted by Janes World Air Force (JWAF), the RoKAF is a full-spectrum air arm, fielding the latest capabilities in the domains of air defence, strike, air mobility, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

The service currently fields about 800 aircraft, of which about 450 are frontline combat assets comprising 36 of a contracted 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), 59 Boeing F-15K Slam Eagles, 188 Lockheed Martin KF-16C/D Fighting Falcons, 150 Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs, 20 McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs, and 22 Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T/FA-50s (also known as TA-50), as well as numerous fixed- and rotary-winged air mobility, surveillance, and special mission platforms.


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AUSA 2021: General Micro Systems unveils new artificial intelligence server

by Carlo Munoz

Tactical server manufacturer General Micro Systems unveiled its newest, high-powered server designed specifically to operate and support the plethora of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and applications set to flood the battlefield in the coming decades.

The company's Velocity 4×4 General-Purpose Graphics Processing Unit (GPGPU) tactical server is patterned after a similar tactical server deployed aboard the US Navy's P-8 Posiedon multimission maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, chief technology officer Chris Ciufo said.

“Most servers out there use two processors ... it is unusual to have four processors” since the processing power required to support most tactical-level, edge computing demands can be met with a dual-processor server, General Micro Systems' chief information officer Chris Ciufo said during an interview at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) annual symposium in Washington, DC.


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Seoul’s ADEX escapes the worst of Covid-19 cancellations

by Gareth Jennings

As the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition 2021 is staged at Seoul Airport on the outskirts of the South Korean capital from 19 to 21 October, Gareth Jennings explores the expected developments at the show…

ADEX, as the event is popularly known, is rapidly becoming one of Asia-Pacific's most influential and prestigious aviation, aerospace and defence events, along with Aero India, Avalon in Australia, the Singapore Air Show, and the China Air Show in Zhuhai in China.

For organisers, the biennial show has been fortunate to escape the worst of the Covid-19 cancellations and postponements that have blighted other similar events over the last couple of years, with the previous ADEX in 2019 having been staged just ahead of the global shutdown, and this latest iteration coming just on the back of it. There will, however, be a reduced international participation at this year’s event as global travel restrictions remain place.

 

With Covid-19 having also taken the gloss off previously announced defence budget increases (in 2021, nearly USD500 million was shaved off defence expenditure for the year to help pay for the pandemic), South Korea in general and the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) in particular will be keen to once again being showing their wares to the world at this 14th running of ADEX.

Although the RoKAF has increasingly taken on an expeditionary role in recent years, it remains the threat from North Korea that drives the service's procurement and modernisation plans (for instance). To this end, the RoKAF's acquisition planning is focused primarily on strengthening its air combat capabilities with the latest precision strike and air defence assets, and ADEX will bring the latest news on a planned follow-on buy of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), as well as latest developments on the KF-21 Boramae (previously known as KF-X) programme in particular. 

With a keen focus on military affairs, Janes interconnected intelligence spans across the globe. For those with a particular eye for South Korean aviation, please see below for our latest analysis of the country’s developments….

  • ADEX 2021: KF-21 Boramae to take centre-stage (read more)
  • ADEX 2021: Uncrewed aircraft to feature strongly in Seoul (read more)
  • ADEX 2021: Persistent threat from North Korea drives RoKAF modernisation (read more)
  • South Korea to buy 1,000 more UAVs by 2027 (read more)
  • South Korea advances space force plans (read more)
  • South Korean military to deploy VTOL UAVs for coastal surveillance and reconnaissance (read more)
  • South Korea testing several new missiles amid tensions with Pyongyang (read more)
  • South Korea to start trial operations of ‘grenade-launching' and ‘small modular' UAVs in 2022 (read more)
  • KAI to support Boeing in upgrading RoKAF's E-737 AEW&C aircraft (read more)    
  • Korean Air begins research on RoKAF-commissioned project to launch space rockets using commercial aircraft (read more)
  • Korean Air to bid for second Baekdu ISR project (read more)

UK deploys Poseidon to Iceland on first overseas visit

by Gareth Jennings

An RAF Poseidon MRA1 seen at Keflavik Airbase during the type's first overseas visit in UK service. Poseidons operated by the UK, the US and Norway will be used to plug the GIUK Gap against increased Russian maritime activity in the region. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has deployed a Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) to Iceland for the type's first overseas visit.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) announced the detachment of the Poseidon and an Airbus A400M Atlas transport aircraft to Keflavik Airbase on 12 October, noting that the MMA had taken part in a training sortie in the GIUK gap that runs between Greenland, Iceland, and the UK.

“During the visit, Air Officer Commanding 1 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Allan Marshall, met with senior personnel from the Icelandic government and the British Ambassador to discuss opportunities to enhance Poseidon MRA1 training and operations in the region. NATO Ambassadors, from Poland and Norway also attended the visit to discuss the shared interests of NATO members in the region,” the RAF said.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/adex-2021-persistent-threat-from-north-korea-drives-rokaf-modernisation

Despite an increased emphasis on participating in multinational operations over recent years, the fo...

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