Home Air South Korea upgrading FA-50 light fighters with Raytheon’s PhantomStrike radars

South Korea upgrading FA-50 light fighters with Raytheon’s PhantomStrike radars

PhantomStrike shown on a rendering of a T-50 aircraft, sister aircraft to the FA-50. Image: Raytheon

Raytheon will supply Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft with the new PhantomStrike radar.

In collaboration with the United States Government, PhantomStrike has received authorization for export as a direct commercial sales product to KAI.

PhantomStrike is an air-cooled fire-control radar that has been developed to offer extensive capabilities for detecting, tracking, and targeting long-range threats.

It is designed for a wide range of platforms including light-attack aircraft, rotary-wing aircraft, uncrewed aerial vehicles, and ground-based towers.

PhantomStrike integrates two key areas of expertise from Raytheon Technologies: a gallium nitride-powered array and the compact high-reliability integrated receiver/exciter processor (CHIRP). Combining these technologies, the radar achieves the performance standards of AESA.

AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) is a radar technology that electronically steers the radar beam using an array of transmit/receive modules. AESA radars offer advantages like faster scanning, improved target detection, and resistance to jamming. They can track multiple targets simultaneously and perform various radar functions concurrently.

“Outfitting the FA-50 with the PhantomStrike radar upgrades the capability of a critical aircraft, providing unparalleled performance in a compact, affordable package,” said Annabel Flores, president, Global Spectrum Dominance at Raytheon Technologies. “All while keeping these jets fast, agile and easy to maintain.”

“Threats on the battlefield always evolve, and PhantomStrike makes it possible for KAI to offer high-performance fire control radar capabilities that can integrate with U.S. and international weapon systems, so FA-50 customers maintain air dominance,” said Flores.

PhantomStrike will be manufactured in Forest, Mississippi; Tucson, Arizona; and Scotland, assisted by Raytheon UK. The first shipments are anticipated to be made in 2025.