Skip to comments.PACOM Chief Balks At F-16 Upgrades For South Korea
Posted on 02/28/2012 8:58:01 PM PST by U-238
For months now, Pentagon and service officials have said it will need all the help it can get from its international partners, as the department begins its swing from Southwest Asia to the Western Pacific. But that help won't include outfitting the South Korean air force with a key, U.S.-built radar system.
Pacific Command chief Adm. Robert Willard stopped short of agreeing to equip South Korea's fleet of F-16 fighters with the next-generation Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Air Force models have already gotten AESA upgrades, which allows U.S. warplanes to track multiple targets during flight. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is also expected to receive the new Northrop Grumman-built radar. Aside from tracking multiple targets, the AESA can also be used for electronic warfare and intelligence and surveillance operations. And therein lies the problem. Handing over that kind of capability to a foreign military, even an ally like South Korea, is something that PACOM, the Air Force or the Defense Department is not ready to do.
Senate Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed pressed Willard on the issue during today's hearing on the command's fiscal 2013 budget proposal. Given the intense focus DoD has put on the Western Pacific, handing over critical weapons technologies -- like the AESA -- to America's allies in the region would only make sense, Reed said. In response, Willard said air dominance would be vital in pursuing U.S. interests in the Pacific. Further, the U.S. should help allies like South Korea expand their military forces. And that is where the four-star admiral stopped.
(Excerpt) Read more at defense.aol.com ...
As the FaceBook folks say: WTF?
I’m sure they won’t be letting Taiwan have it either. Japan?