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S. Korea marks completion of transonic wind tunnel lab

All Headlines 11:00 June 05, 2018

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state defense research agency on Tuesday completed a yearslong project to construct a transonic wind tunnel laboratory, which it said will help enhance the country's fighter jet and missile development capabilities.

The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) held a ceremony marking the construction of the KS-T1500 wind tunnel lab in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, three years after the agency bought the secondhand facility from Sweden.

A transonic wind tunnel is used to test flight characteristics of a jet or conduct aerodynamic performance tests. Absent such a laboratory, South Korean researchers have had to bring their aircraft under development overseas for testing despite the risks of technology leaks.

The ADD purchased the wind tunnel from STARCS, a private Swedish firm, for some 11 billion won (US$10.2 million) in 2015, and then assembled and upgraded it here. The Swedish Defense Research Agency initially ran the facility, which was built in 1997, and handed it over to STARCS later.

Tuesday's ceremony was attended by Anne Hoglund, Sweden's ambassador to South Korea, and senior officials from Seoul's defense ministry, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, Air Force, Korea Aerospace Research Institute and Korea Aerospace Industries.

"The ADD has built infrastructure necessary for the aircraft development, and I anticipate that this will contribute greatly to the development of leading-edge aerospace technologies," ADD President Nam Sae-kyu said.

This photo, provided by the Agency for Defense Development, shows the KS-T1500 transonic wind tunnel lab in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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