Korean Air’s Military Maintenance Business
Sometimes, the nice thing to do as an ally is also the fiscally smart thing. Take military maintenance, for example. If your fighters are based in an allied country that flies the same aircraft, and that country has already set up depot-level maintenance for them, why duplicate that infrastructure in-theater, or ferry your planes back home for in-depth work? Instead, hand the contract to the firm(s) doing this work for your ally. This helps strengthen the alliance, encourages allies to buy from you in future, and saves money.
That’s why national passenger carrier Korean Air performs depot-level maintenance on F-4 Phantoms (currently ROKAF only), F-15 Eagles (ROKAF, USAF), and F-16 Falcons (ROKAF, USAF), where Korean expertise is deepest. They were the first non-US air force to fly the F-16C/D, with approximately 180 block 30 and block 52 (KF-16) “Victory Falcon” aircraft in the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). They moved a mountain to become the 5th country with an F-16 production line (no, really – they moved one), with Samsung is the prime contractor, Daewoo as a major subcontractor, and Korean Air signed on for maintenance…
Contracts & Key Events
July 13/07: Korean Air Lines Co. in Dong, Busan, South Korea received a firm-fixed-price, time and material and cost reimbursement – no fee contract for $9.2 million to perform in-theater depot installations on United States Air Fore PACAF(PACific Air Force) F-16 aircraft for Block 40/50 Falcon-STAR CCIP modification. Falcon STAR CCIP is an upgrade program that aims to bring all USAF F-16s to a common equipment baseline.
Solicitations began December 2006, negotiations were complete June 2007, and work will be complete September 2014. At this time, $5,000 has been obligated. The Headquarters Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, UT issued the contract (FA8232-07-D-0005).
April 30/07: KOIS reports that Korean Air Co. has clinched a preliminary deal with U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. to provide a wide range of maintenance and services, including training of military maintenance personnel, for Boeing-made F-15K fighters in the Republic Of Korean Air Force.
While this is the first time a private company has performed this kind of work for the ROKAF, they do have a solid base of experience. Over the last 25 years, the firm has overhauled about 500 USAF F-15s at its maintenance unit in Gimhae just south of Seoul.
- GlobalSecurity.org – Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAA). Offers a fuller look at KAA’s approach and scope of responsibilities.