ADEX 2017 SEOUL Air Show

Report by: Danny Bonny & Thierry Letellier


Seoul Air Base is located in Seongnam city, right below Seoul.The USAF designated the base at K-16 during the Korean War.The base is home to the ROKAF 15th Composite Wing.The US Army’s 2nd Battalion (Assault), 2nd Aviation Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division operating Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawks is based there. The base is used as a VIP airfield by the President of South Korea and other VIPs and heads of state. The Seoul Air Show is held every two years in this airfield.

ADEX Aerospace & Defense Exhibitions was held in Seongnam City from 6 days from Oct. 17 to 22. ADEX 2017 marks its 11th anniversary since the first exhibition in 1996. The purpose of the exhibition was to make companies in the aerospace and defense industry expand their export opportunities and interchange technical information with foreign companies. It was expected to be the largest-ever exhibition in Northeast Asia with 405 exhibitors from 33 countries participating. . A total of 89 VIPs from 60 countries participated in the exhibition.  The exhibition displayed 60 types and 72 units in the aerospace and defense industry, such as the T-50 Golden Eagle and the KT-1 basic trainer.

The ROK Air Force (ROKAF) maintains a modern air force in order to defend itself from various modes of threats. The ROK Air Force fields some 450 combat aircraft of American design. The KF-X program is an early-stage project to develop an indigenous fighter aircraft. The current proposal is to develop an F-16 Block 50 class aircraft with basic stealth capabilities to replace the F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft. South Korea is reportedly seeking technological assistance from Saab, Boeing and Lockheed Martin for the production of the KF-X.

The U.S. military  was represented at the 2017 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, or Seoul ADEX 17, at Seoul Airport, South Korea, Oct. 17-22, 2017.  Approximately 200 U.S. personnel  facilitated a cross-section of U.S. military aircraft, which are scheduled for static displays and aerial demonstrations, including the F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules, B-1B Lancer, KC-135 Stratotanker, E-3 Sentry, U-2 Dragon Lady, RQ-4 Global Hawk and the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter, the F-35A Lightning II. Additional displays included a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon and a U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook.  This year’s airshow featured demonstrations from U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

The RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk made its first landing in the Republic of South Korea for the 2017 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition.  Seven maintenance personnel along with a pilot and sensor operator from the 69th Maintenance and Operations squadron deployed to assist in the air show.Among many other aircraft, the US Air Force presented for the first time its latest fifth-generation fighter, the F-35A Lightning II, at ADEX aerospace and defense exhibition. Two F-35s and their crews traveled from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to participate in the week’s events, a first for the Seoul ADEX.  South Korea formally agreed to purchase 40 F-35A Block 3F fighter jets in a $7bn deal. The aircraft, to be acquired beginning in 2018, will replace the aging F-4 Phantom II and F-5 fighter jets. By early next year, South Korean air force maintainers and pilots will be training to operate the F-35.

Boeing and Saab are in the race for South Korea’s upcoming Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) contract that could see Seoul buy up to 60 MPA potentially worth several billion dollars.  While Boeing has proposed its P-8A Poseidon aircraft, Saab has offered its Swordfish aircraft as candidates for the contract. The planes have the ability to detect North Korea’s submarines and other underwater threats.  As an initial purchase, South Korea’s Navy said that it wants to acquire six more MPA to augment the 16 P-3C and P-3CK Orion planes currently in service. Over time, this order could grow up to 60 airplanes.

Republic of Korea Navy ( RoKN ) plans to introduce 12 more new helicopters for future anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare needs by 2022.The three models under concideration are AW-159 by Leonardo, Sikorsky MH-60R and NHI NH-90. The platform selected must be equipped with the latest communications, navigation systems, advanced sensors and a wide range of weapons, providing mission commanders with Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance ( ISR ) , Maritime Interdiction Operations ( MIO ), ANTI Surface Warfare ( ASuW ), Anti Submarine Warfare  ( ASW ) and Search & Rescue capacities ( SAR ).Globalairpower would like to thank all the media staff for the quality of their work during this show, to permeet us to proceed in outstanding conditions.