Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Americans favored in fight to replace Korea’s F-4s
Flight International ^ | 01/08/11 | Greg Waldron

Posted on 08/01/2011 11:17:55 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

Americans favored in fight to replace Korea’s F-4s

By Greg Waldron

South Korea faces a threat to its existence - in the shape of its neighbour, North Korea.

Though its air force is obsolete, Pyongyang would enter a conflict with the ability to inflict immense damage in a short time.

It has made little secret of its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles to carry them, and it has over 1,000 artillery pieces within firing range of South Korea's capital, Seoul - with many in hardened bunkers.

There is also China to consider, which has long served as North Korea's superpower backer.

In a war, neutralizing these manifold threats would fall mainly on the shoulders of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), though it could rely on help from the US.

© Boeing

The ROKAF needs to replace more than 60 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms

Though the ROKAF has a strong force of Boeing F-15K and Lockheed Martin KF-16 fighters, it needs to replace more than 60 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms.

In late July, Seoul's Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) shortlisted four possible replacements to meet its FX-III upgrade programme requirements: Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Sukhoi's developmental PAK-FA.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin have said that they both expect a formal request for proposal (RFP) for 60 aircraft in early 2012, with deliveries to start in 2016.

"Korea is still looking at its requirements, funding profile and potential acquisition strategy," said one executive involved in the campaign.

Boeing enters FX-III in a strong position. Its twin-seat F-15K, a variant of the F-15E Strike Eagle, emerged victorious in both FX-I, for 40 aircraft and FX-II, for 21 aircraft.

Deliveries of the second batch are likely to be completed in the second quarter of 2012.

Though final assembly of the F-15K takes place in St Louis, the aircraft's wings, forward fuselage, wire harnesses and heads-up-displays are produced in South Korea.

"The F-15SE offers Korea the flexibility to field an aircraft with both reduced radar cross-section capability and a heavy combat payload," said Howard Berry, Boeing's FX-III campaign manager. "We do this by offering the conformal weapons bay (CWB) for selected mission profiles, and the ability to convert into a heavier configuration for a variety of missions."

Eying FX-III, Boeing announced in November 2010 that Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) would design, develop and manufacture the Silent Eagle's CWB.

Berry said the CWB can be removed within three hours.

"We are the only competitor optimised for maximum capability for different mission requirements, as opposed to being specifically tailored to one type of mission, with shortcomings in others."

Lockheed's position is also compelling. It worked with Korea to produce the KF-16 in-country, and played a pivotal role in the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer programme.

In the context of FX-III, it makes much of the F-35's stealth characteristics.

Lockheed said an F-35 buy would allow for excellent interoperability with US forces, and it would allow Korea to enjoy the economies of scale inherent in the large production runs anticipated for the F-35 - although cuts to western defence budgets could dent this argument, not to mention further delays in the aircraft's development programme.

Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow with Singapore's S Rajaratnam School of International Studies' military transformations programme, said FX-III is really a competition between the two American aircraft, with the Typhoon a long shot and the PAK-FA a mere "spoiler".

He pointed out that the Eurofighter was one of the aircraft eliminated in the FX-II competition.

As for the PAK-FA, he said: "The PAK-FA is only there to light a fire under the western manufacturers and sweeten the pot for technology transfer. It is a virtually untested aircraft."

The greatest obstacle for the Typhoon and PAK-FA, however, will be the depth of the US and South Korean defence relationship.

Thousands of American serviceman are based in South Korea, and the US would all but certainly be drawn into any conflict on the peninsula.

Washington will drive this fact home in the interests of producing an American winner for FX-III.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; boeing; lockheedmartin; rokaf; southkorea

1 posted on 08/01/2011 11:18:01 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Ahhh...the Phantom II - proof that with enough thrust, even a brick can be made to fly.

That being said...I always thought she was a beautiful aircraft!

2 posted on 08/01/2011 11:24:32 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (Obama's approval ratings: so low that Kenyans now accuse him of being born in the USA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
My favorite jet fighter, the F86 Sabre (Korean War era):


3 posted on 08/01/2011 11:27:53 AM PDT by Signalman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

Wow, a first-world air force flying a combat platform drawn in 1959. Of course they would be facing an opposition flying aircraft from earlier than that.


4 posted on 08/01/2011 11:39:29 AM PDT by lurk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NorCoGOP

I had heard that “brick” was also an apt description of its glide ratio. But what power! I once experienced an F-4 coming in from behind me at about 100ft AGL. It made quite an impression. I didn’t hear it until I felt it.


5 posted on 08/01/2011 11:40:18 AM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
I wonder who else is still flying F-4s?
I was working in Israel when they had them in their inventory - used to love to watch them take off - proving anything can fly if given enough thrust.........
6 posted on 08/01/2011 11:40:43 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

The Koreans should buy the updated F-15.


7 posted on 08/01/2011 11:43:56 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lurk

“Wow, a first-world air force flying a combat platform drawn in 1959”

Not to be too picky, but your dates are off.

From Wiki..
“On 25 July 1955, the Navy ordered two XF4H-1 test aircraft and five YF4H-1 pre-production fighters. The Phantom made its maiden flight on 27 May 1958 with Robert C. Little at the controls”

I was Lucky enough to get 500 hours of flight time in F-4D’s. I still remember my first flight and my last flight vividly. What a grand machine...


8 posted on 08/01/2011 11:51:25 AM PDT by PilotDave (No, really, you just can't make this stuff up!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pecos

I was 7 or 8 when Blue Angels and Thunderbirds both flew the F-4’s and saw both groups in one summer - I’ll never forget the noise...and the ground shaking...


9 posted on 08/01/2011 11:54:06 AM PDT by NorCoGOP (Obama's approval ratings: so low that Kenyans now accuse him of being born in the USA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Psalm 73
I wonder who else is still flying F-4s?

Off the top of my chrome dome, before consulting Google, I can think of two: Germany and Japan.

Google says to add Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Iran.

10 posted on 08/01/2011 11:55:00 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NorCoGOP

Me Too!


11 posted on 08/01/2011 11:55:10 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki

They need to use elements of the F-22 in any new version of the F-15. Make it the F-15X


12 posted on 08/01/2011 11:58:26 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
Boeing has come up with the F-15SE (Silent Eagle):


13 posted on 08/01/2011 12:06:23 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: NorCoGOP

Even more beautiful when responding to your calls for air support.

RVN 68-69.


14 posted on 08/01/2011 12:13:22 PM PDT by onedoug (If)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NorCoGOP
“I always thought she was a beautiful aircraft!”

Same here. We had them on my ship the Saratoga. They just looked menacing and deadly, even standing still. The F/A-18 Super Hornets they use now are too pretty.

15 posted on 08/01/2011 12:13:22 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Yo-Yo

Looks like they leaned the vertical stabs out a bit. One less differentiator between it and the F14. Beside the fact that the tomcats are gone...


16 posted on 08/01/2011 12:18:27 PM PDT by ConservativeWarrior (In last year's nests, there are no birds this year.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki
Though final assembly of the F-15K takes place in St Louis, the aircraft's wings, forward fuselage, wire harnesses and heads-up-displays are produced in South Korea.

50,000 American dead - and they can't buy a wiring harness from us.

Beware Asian merchantilists.

17 posted on 08/01/2011 12:18:44 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NorCoGOP

I always thought the engines had a deep, whirring kind of sound underneath the air-tearing growl that I always loved.

Of course, an F-18, F-16 or F-15 sounds pretty menacing too, but a little different.


18 posted on 08/01/2011 12:26:19 PM PDT by Rammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: onedoug

From what I understand, the HOG will make you excited enough to nearly pee your pants if you need one badly and it shows up with a whole lot of ordnance.


19 posted on 08/01/2011 12:28:41 PM PDT by Rammer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: sukhoi-30mki; NorCoGOP; Signalman; lurk; Pecos; Psalm 73; mad_as_he$$; PilotDave; Yo-Yo; ...

I miss the smell of JP4 in the morning (seriously):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGXdLefL27M

(OK its dusk in the video).

One morning we launched 60 F4Es in 12 minutes from Osan AB - I wish I had video!


20 posted on 08/01/2011 1:28:43 PM PDT by Sparky1776
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sparky1776
"- I wish I had video!"

I wish I had the audio!

21 posted on 08/01/2011 2:00:32 PM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: lurk

We’re still flying B-52s, you know.


22 posted on 08/01/2011 4:03:54 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Sparky1776
You aint lived until you have crouched low to the deck between Cat 1 and 2 while two F4s were at afterburner ready for launch during night ops. I can think of nothing that will make a 17 year old kid grow up faster.

And I know what you mean about the smell of JP4. I work a block away from where new 737s run through engine test - and once in a while I catch that JP smell drifting over and I take it in, and it reminds me of my flight deck days from years ago. I grew to like that smell.

23 posted on 08/01/2011 4:13:21 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Psalm 73
I wonder who else is still flying F-4s?
Turkey is flying Israel's F-4 Kurnass 2000. Iran still has some. Japan is seeking to replace its remaining F-4Js.
24 posted on 08/01/2011 7:08:32 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NavyCanDo

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmXvQqEcJZ8

Just before the RF-4 was retired at the Nevada National Guard Base, Reno, Nevada.

Brings a shiver to the spine and a tear to the eye


25 posted on 08/06/2011 12:11:48 PM PDT by hattend (As always... FUJM.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: hattend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmXvQqEcJZ8


26 posted on 08/06/2011 12:12:45 PM PDT by hattend (As always... FUJM.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson