Air show mixes thrills and businesState-of-the-art aircraft, armored vehicles, simulation equipment and weaponry systems including F-15K fighter jets and T-50 supersonic jet trainers will be displayed during the Korea Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2005 next week.
A total of 225 defense industry companies from 24 countries will participate in the event, which will take place at Seoul Airport, a military airfield in Seongnam, south of Seoul, from Oct. 18 through Oct. 23. This is the fifth event since it was launched in 1996. Among the companies represented are Korean Aerospace Industries, Korean Air Lines, Samsung Thales, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE, Rolls Royce, EADS and General Electric. Unlike previous shows, the 2005 air show also includes land and sea based weapon systems.
Of the 43 aircraft in the show, several belong to the Korean Air Force ― the F-15K, KF-16, F-4E and KT-1. Other military planes include the F-15C, F-16C and AH-64 Apache helicopter. The first two F-15K fighter jets, which will become pillars of the Korean Air Force over the next several decades, were delivered to the Korean military last Friday.
Korea has purchased a total of 40 F-15K jets from Boeing for $5.4 billion. The F-15Ks can carry over 13 tons of armaments, including air-to-ground missiles that can hit inside a 3-meter diameter circle after being launched from 280 kilometers away.
The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engine, four bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter and the U.S. Air Force’s primary attack helicopter.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multi-role jet fighter aircraft. The Falcon’s versatility is the cornerstone of its success, and currently is used by 24 countries although it is no longer produced for the U.S. Air Force. Although the F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon,” it is well-known as the “Viper,” the codename for the project during its early development.
There is also the T-50 Golden Eagle, which was developed by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), Lockheed Martin and the Korean government. The T-50 is designed to provide pilot training for current and next-generation fighters like advanced F-16s, F-22s and the Joint Strike Fighter. The plane’s first version, the AA-1, was rolled out in October 2002 and successfully performed its historic maiden flight in August 2002. Its maximum speed is mach 1.4, and its maximum rate of climb from sea level is 27,000 feet per minute.
The first four days of the show are reserved for businesses, in which the defense industry and government officials from 34 countries are expected to make major arms deals. The event is open to the public on Oct. 22 and 23. Among the highlights are air acrobatics by the Korean Air Force team the Black Eagles.
Separately, in conjunction with the air show, a series of seminars on the aerospace industry and new technologies in weaponry systems has been scheduled for next week at the Grand Inter-Continental Hotel in southern Seoul.
by Limb Jae-un
See www.seoulairshow.com. Seoul Airport is a 10-minute walk from Moran subway station the No. 8 line. Shuttle buses are available from the station. Tickets are 4,000 won ($4) to 7,000 won.