Report: South Korea to deploy upgraded tactical transporter with air force
March 29 (UPI) — The South Korea military is to deploy an improved version of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, a tactical transport aircraft, while pursuing the development of plans for a “beheading operation” that targets the North Korean leadership in the case of an attack from Pyongyang.
The C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop transporter, is capable of avoiding radar detection and getting behind enemy lines.
The upgraded aircraft will be deployed with the South Korea air force, according to Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, local news service EDaily reported.
The deployment means Seoul may be able to carry out a military plan to remove the North Korean leader, target war command facilities, or penetrate Pyongyang.
In September 2016 South Korea confirmed it has a military plan to remove Kim Jong Un – a tactic that could be activated in the event of a North Korea nuclear attack against the South.
On Thursday, local time, DAPA said the first upgraded aircraft was delivered to the air force in late 2016.
Deployment is to begin before the second half of 2017, according to the report.
South Korea’s military has invested $106.2 million in the upgrades of four aircraft, which is ongoing. They each include equipment that can avoid enemy radar.
Each transporter can carry more than 90 armed troops and more than 60 paratroopers.
The current aircraft equipment includes multi-functional radar, forward-looking infrared cameras, satellite communications, and a high-speed low-level aerial delivery system.
By 2018 the anti-missile system Directional Infrared Counter Measures, will be installed on all four aircraft, according to the report.
Lockheed Martin delivered the first C-130 Hercules to South Korea in March 2014.