Seoul has selected the Dassault Falcon 2000S as its next generation intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, although a deal has yet to be signed.

If a deal is concluded, Seoul will acquire two aircraft, which will be delivered in 2016, said an industry source.

He was unable to provide details of exactly how the aircraft will be equipped for the South Korean ISR mission, but said the aircraft would be used mainly to monitor North Korea. He was also unable to confirm the contractor for the ISR package.

According to Dassault, the Falcon 2000S is a medium-sized business jet with a maximum take-off weight of 18,688kg (41,000lb). In a private jet configuration, it has a range of 6,200km (3,350nm) with six passengers and two crew.

According to Flightglobal's Milicas database, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) operates eight Hawker Beechcraft 125-800XPs in the tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) role. This aircraft is designated the RC-800 in ROKAF service.

Seoul could also open a tender for a high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle. Seoul had planned on obtaining the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk for this requirement, but is concerned about the price. In September 2011, an industry source said the Foreign Military Sales value for a package of four Global Hawks and a ground station would cost $850 million.

The Block 30I Global Hawk is less capable than the US Air Force's Block 30, as it lacks the latter's communications intelligence and signals intelligence payloads.

Source: Flight International