Korean Information Service, The Defense Ministry selected two final competitors to launch its 2 trillion won ($1.3 billion) airborne reconnaissance system for the Air Force, ministry officials said on Thursday (September 2).
American manufacturer Boeing and IAI Elta from Israel were chosen. The ministry expected five bidders but three did not join the process.
The project, the code-named E-X, is one of the largest-scale procurement projects aimed at deploying four Airborne Early Warning and Control systems, commonly known as AEW & C. Two will be deployed by 2009 and the others by 2011.
The project came as the government is trying to build up its own defense posture against possible North Korean aggression. The United States is initiating to withdraw one third of its troops stationed in South Korea along with its repositioning of global forces to better cope with enemies like terrorists.
The system is designed to detect, track and intercept hostile aircraft operating at low altitudes over any terrain, and also identify and control friendly aircraft in the same airspace.
Maj. Gen. Won Jang-hwan, the ministry
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