Electronic Weapons: The Acceptable Risk Over North Korea


April 14, 2011: The South Korean Air Force was recently embarrassed when a government audit of their airborne anti-missile systems found that flares, which are released when an aircraft detects an oncoming heat seeking missile, have not been updated to deal with newer missiles (the shoulder fired SA-18 and air-to-air AA-11) that have sensors capable of telling the difference between existing South Korean flares and jet exhaust. It's all about having, or detecting, the correct frequency. The air force had noted this problem two years ago, and planned to have a new flare in service by 2016. Given the increased aggressiveness by North Korea in the last year, the air force plan was speeded up, and the new flare will now be ready by 2014. The air force considers this an acceptable risk, for now. That may change once the media and politicians get through with the air force leadership.



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