U.S. State Department Approves Follow-On Support for South Korea’s Peace Krypton Reconnaissance Aircraft

The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of items and services to South Korea to extend follow-on support to its Peace Krypton reconnaissance aircraft.

The sale, with an estimated cost of $250 million, is being executed through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which oversees FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 10.

The South Korea – Republic of Korea (ROK) – has earlier requested to buy items and services to extend follow-on support to its Peace Krypton reconnaissance aircraft. Included are Ground System Modernization (GSM) and sustainment of Prime Mission Equipment (PME); Field Service Representatives (FSR); minor modifications and upgrades; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); spares and repair and return of parts; publications and technical documentation; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The principal contractor of the sale will be Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD.

U-125 Peace Krypton
U-125 Peace Krypton (Hawker 800XP) tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and SIGINT aircraft of South Korea
Photo Credit: fas.org

According to a DSCA statement, this proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in the Pacific region.

The proposed sale will improve South Korea’s capability to meet current and future threats by supporting operation of its fleet of Peace Krypton aircraft and enabling continued Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) interoperability with the United States.

Peace Krypton

The mission of the Peace Krypton system program (known internally to Lockheed Martin Corporation as the Eagle program) is to collect reconnaissance imagery of selected areas during long range missions using an airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery intelligence collection system.

The Peace Krypton system processes and transmits FTI (Fixed Target Imagery) and MTI (Moving Target Indicator) data collected from day/night/all-weather operation to ground exploitation facilities. The Peace Krypton system consists of four major subsystems: AE (Aircraft Element), CEES (Central Exploitation Equipment Subsystem), MEES (Mobile Exploitation Equipment Subsystem), and SE (Support Element).

The AE includes four Hawker 800XP aircraft with SAR with FTI/MTI capability, airborne mission equipment such as workstation, and image data transmitting equipment. The ground-based, CEES and MEES include central and mobile facilities such as data server, computer peripheral equipment, shelters, ground data link, and workstations for mission planning and exploitation. The SE provides logistics and maintenance to support mission operations.

The Hawker 800XP Peace Krypton aircraft are used by South Korea for tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and SIGINT (Signals intelligence) tasks, and eight specially-equipped aircraft were delivered in 2000. They are believed to be forward-based at Seongnam.

RC-800/ Hawker 800XP

The RC-800 is a militarized specialty version of the Raytheon Hawker 800XP business jet, with antennas added along the fuselage and radar/camera protrusions fore and aft.

Hawker 800XP (Extended Performance), the latest variant of the Hawker 800 mid- size corporate jet, offers superior performance in range and payload. Powered by TFE731-5BR engines and typically configured in an eight-seat executive layout, the 800XP has an NBAA IFR range with six passengers of more than 2,500 nm (4,635 km). Like all versions of the Hawker, the integral strength of the aircraft’s design and construction, plus its reliability of operation, makes it an ideal platform for special mission applications.

The Hawker 800 series has been selected to provide a reconnaissance platform to the Republic of Korea, and the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) flies the aircraft for maritime search-and-rescue (SAR) as well as flight inspection.

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