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S Korea receives first AEW&C aircraft

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Boeing's E-737 AWACS aircraft

SEOUL (BNS): South Korea on Monday received its first E-737 airborne early warning and control system (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing.

The aircraft, named “Peace Eye”, arrived at the Air Force base in Gimhae, about 450 kilometers from Seoul, Yonhap news agency reported quoting the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

South Korea had awarded a USD 1.6 billion contract to Boeing in 2006 for the procurement of four such aircraft.

The surveillance aircraft, based on Boeing's 737-700, is equipped with a multi-role electronically scanned radar antenna and can detect and monitor up to 1,000 airborne or surface targets simultaneously within a 370-kilometer radius. The spy plane can fly at a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet and conduct surveillance missions for over nine hours in all weather conditions.

The first aircraft will be deployed with the South Korean Air Force by September after undergoing test flights and acceptance trials, the defence procurement agency DAPA said.

The remaining three E-737s are expected to be delivered in 2012, it said.

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