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Air Defense Artillery Command

The ROK Army turned over the Air Defense mission to the ROKAF in 1991. In the 1960s air defense artillery units in Korea were integrated for operational control into the overall air defense system of the US West Pacific North Air Defense Region, a subordinate command of US PACAF. The Commanding General, 5th US Air Force, was the West Pacific North Air Defense Region commander. The region was divided into four specific actively manned air defense sectors, one of which is the Korean air defense sector. The US 314th Air Division was responsible for air defense of the Korean air defense sector and operated a master direction center which coordinated air defense activities of all services providing air defense support. The air defense artillery director element, under operational control of the master direction center, exercised operational control over all United Stares and Allied Army air defense artillery units in South Korea. Operational procedures of air defense artillery units in Korea are similar to those of Army units in the United States.

By the 1980s, the air force modernization program focused primarily on the formation and deployment of twelve new fighter aircraft squadrons and the establishment of an automated air defense network. The Tactical Air Control Center at Osan became operational in 1983. Reconnaissance aircraft and air defense radar sites informed the center about potentially hostile aircraft before they entered South Korean airspace. In wartime this capability was expected to allow South Korean air controllers more time to assess threat and the ability quickly to communicate orders to interceptor aircraft and surface-to-air missile sites. The Master Control and Reporting Center (MCRC) provides airspace control and assists in theater air defense operations. Additionally, the MCRC provides a centralized control capability for air surveillance, identification, and tactical air control.

The army was responsible for the ground component of South Korea's air defense network and had two surface-to-surface missile battalions and several antiaircraft gun battalions. The surface-to-surface missile battalions were equipped with United States-produced HAWK and Nike Hercules missiles, the former having a range of 42 kilometers, the latter a range of 140 kilometers. The field armies had small quantities of three types of man-portable, shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles. These included the British-produced Javelin and the United Statesproduced Redeye missile. Additionally, there were three types of antiaircraft guns in use: the Swedish-produced Bofors L/70 40mm; the Swiss-produced Oerlikon GDF-002 35mm; and the domestically produced Vulcan 20mm.

The North Korean threat consisted of primarily of high performance aircraft, cruise missiles and an extensive family of tactical ballistic missiles. The SCUD tactical ballistic missiles deployed by North Korea were a serious threat to all populated areas and industrial areas and military forces in South Korea. Rapid reinforcement of South Korea by Coalition nations cannot occur until air superiority is established following the outbreak of hostilities. Given the close proximity of Seoul to the North Korean threat, this air superiority must be in place prior to the conflict, air lifts of reinforcements can begin immediately and available friendly air power can be freed to place maximum effort on interdiction of attacking land forces.

In December 1998 Raytheon was awarded a $36 million contract by Ssang Yong Information and Communications for the development of operational software and to provide system engineering for South Korea's Second Automated Air Defense System (SAADS). The SAADS will include a distributed architecture, multiple high capacity processors and modern operator interface, providing South Korea with a second center for the integration of its air defense operations. The new center complemented the existing Master Command Reporting Center by providing redundancy and enhanced operational capability. Raytheon's work on the SAADS was performed at the company's facilities in Fullerton, Calif.

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Page last modified: 26-07-2014 19:54:39 ZULU