ASIA PA­CIFIC

SP's Aviation - - NEWS -

ANTI-SUB­MA­RINE WAR­FARE (ASW) AIR­CRAFT FOR SOUTH KOREA

South Korea’s ac­qui­si­tion agency, De­fence Ac­qui­si­tion Pro­gramme Ad­min­is­tra­tion (DAPA), has de­cided to pur­chase ad­di­tional ASW air­craft from an undis­closed for­eign sup­plier. While the state­ment also failed to men­tion how many air­craft would be pur­chased, their cost or ex­pected de­liv­ery, it is known that the South Korean Navy wants to add six more ASW air­craft to its ex­ist­ing fleet of 16 P-3C and P-3CK Ori­ons al­ready in service. A con­tract is ex­pected to be signed in the sec­ond half of 2018. Boe­ing’s P-8 Po­sei­don and Saab’s Sword­fish, are re­port­edly among the can­di­dates.

CHINA IN­DUCTS J-20 INTO PLAAF

On Fe­bru­ary 9, 2018, China com­mis­sioned its first stealth fighter air­craft in Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Air Force (PLAAF), re­ports Chi­nese state-run news agency Xin­hua. This makes China the sec­ond na­tion af­ter the United States to have a home­made stealth fighter. This is a big de­vel­op­ment as China can now field its stealth fighter in the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion against the US and Ja­panese stealth F-35. Quot­ing a spokesper­son of the PLAAF, the agency re­ported that the J-20 will com­pre­hen­sively im­prove Chi­nese Air Force’s com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Ex­er­cise Red Sword 2017 con­ducted re­cently by the PLAAF in Ti­bet, saw the first op­er­a­tional de­ploy­ment of this air­craft. Re­port­edly, the air su­pe­ri­or­ity air­craft is ex­pected to join the 9th Bri­gade of the PLAAF which is de­ployed fac­ing South China. The J-20 is ex­pected to fly to­gether with Rus­sian made PLAAF’s Su-35 fight­ers, which were or­dered by China in 2015. China paid $2 billion for 24 Su-35 and the air­craft were de­liv­ered by Rus­sia by 2017. The J-20 is a fourth–gen­er­a­tion fighter jet.

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