Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is considering tendering for South Korea's pending airborne early-warning (AEW) competition offering an Elta Phalcon phased-array radar version of the Airbus Industrie A310, as well as the Boeing 767.
IAI has already teamed with Raytheon E-Systems to offer an Elta radar-equipped A310 for Australia's Project Wedgetail AEW programme. The Israeli company now wants to propose the same basic system to South Korea, as a possible lower-cost option, say defence sources.
The A310 would be in addition to IAI's previously unveiled 767-based AEW system (Flight International, 30 October - 5 November, 1996). While the 767 features four L-band antennas mounted in the nose, tail and on either side of the forward fuselage, the A310 platform would be fitted with a single round dorsal radome housing a triangular array.
IAI and E-Systems say that the Phalcon 767 and A310 both provide full 360í of coverage out to a range of over 333km (180nm), or considerably further in sector- search mode, and each has an on station endurance of 10-10.5h.
The 767-300ER, however, would appear to be able to accommodate a larger number operator stations for future growth.
IAI is one of three contenders shortlisted to tender for the South Korea competition, the others being Boeing and Saab/Ericsson.
A formal request for tenders is expected to be issued by the end of March, while a final selection and award of contract has been targeted for 1998.
In addition to the Phalcon 767, Boeing is offering its own 767 Airborne Early Warning & Control System, equipped with a conventional Northrop Grumman APY-2 radar. Saab has teamed with Ericsson to offer the smaller Saab 2000 turboprop, fitted with dorsal mounted phased-array Erieye system. South Korea, at the same time, is seeking proposals for an in-flight refuelling tanker.
While both programmes are for now being treated in isolation, local defence sources suggest, the two could eventually be brought together in the form of a common platform for the two missions. Airbus and Boeing are still looking for launch customers for their planned respective A310 and 767 tanker derivatives.
Source: Flight International