Emerging Threats, Force Structures, and the Role of Air Power in Korea

By Natalie W. Crawford | Go to book overview

Chapter Fifteen
U.S. AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY AND IMPLICATIONS
FOR KOREA
Natalie W. Crawford

Perhaps the most striking difference between the aerospace industrial base in the United States and that in Korea is that in the United States aerospace companies have a strong commercial business base and do not rely solely on the military for business. In fact, the U.S. Department of Defense is not always the customer of first choice; however, there is mutual reinforcement between the commercial and military/defense sectors that is very positive in these companies. Another difference, which Korea is experiencing to some extent, is an extraordinary consolidation of aerospace companies. One should be concerned that, if unchecked, consolidation can lead to monopolistic situations that will affect cost. Furthermore, at least as worrisome is the prospect that competition of ideas will be lost or slowed, hence limiting progress.

Korea needs an aerospace industry that has both strong commercial and military components. The synergy that arises from such a combination has the potential to produce quality products more efficiently and at lower cost. It can also provide stability for the workforce in that it does not depend on the vagaries of either the commercial or military/defense sectors, but can strive to balance the business, and hence the workforce.

There is much rhetoric these days about the “revolution in military affairs.” In fact, the phrase has been used so much that it is essentially a cliché. The label is not what matters. What matters is what problems need to be solved and what technologies can enable solu-

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