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Status Of North Korean Air Force Today  
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1639 posts, RR: 1
Posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5714 times:

I know that the North Korean Air Force during the Korean War relied on contingents of Russian and Chinese pilots both in training and in combat. Given the current situation with North Korea, I was wondering about their Air Force in the present: what sort of operational aircraft do they have; how large a force is it; are they capable of mounting a strong attack/defense; are they capable of delivering nuclear weapons?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5613 times:

They apperently have some MiG-15's, MiG-19's, MiG-21's, MiG-23's, MiG-29's, Su-7's, Su-25's, Il-28's, Mi-8/17's, and An-24's. My guess would be that most of the a/c are not in flyable condition, with the exception of some MiG-29's, Su-25's, and some helicopters and transports. The Il-28 sounds like a good candidate for carrying a (small) nuke.

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5620 times:

I wouldn't discount their aircraft being flyable...
The MiG-19s and -21s are most likely being well maintained with extensive Chinese aid. The MiG-15s are most likely trainers, which are still being used in the PRC as well, thus spares for those are no problem either.
The Su-7s might be a problem, but Chinese supplied A-7s would have supplemented or replaced those (A-7 is based on the MiG-19).
Il-28 is indeed a good candidate for carrying nukes. The PRC also operates them in that role so technical support is again no real problem.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13044 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5595 times:

At the end of the day, they've no AWACS, EW, PGM's, rigid ground control for fighters and just a few Mig-29's/SU-25's can be considered modern, but they are in small numbers.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5544 times:

This years Aviation Week source book lists the strength of the North Korean Air Force as follows.

L-39 (12)
AN-2 (162)
An-24 (24)
FT-5 (25)
H-5[IL-28] (80)
Z-5[MI-4] (48)
IL-14 (5)
IL-18D (2)
IL-62M (4)
IL-76T (3)
MD-500E (6)
MD-500MD (80)
MIG-21PF (160)
MIG-21U (30)
MIG-23ML (46)
MIG-23UB (10)
MIG-29A (35)
MIG-29UB (5)
MIL MI-2 (140)
MIL MI-8/17 (15)
MIL MI-14PL (10)
CJ-5 [YAK-18 (180)
Q-51A (40)
F-5[MIG-17] (110)
F-6[MIG-19] (120)
F-7 (40)
Y-5[AN-2] (120)
FT-2[MIG-15UTI] (30)
SU-7BMK (18)
SU-25K (36)
TU-134 (2)
TU-154 (4)

While the numbers are impressive most of these aircraft are obsolete. If the N. Koreans were foolish enough to take on the S. Koreans and the USA their air force would be wiped out.


User currently offlineRyu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5525 times:

Yeah, most of DPRK miiltary strength is in the army, and ground SAMs for air defense, and not Air Force. They are so close to South Korea, it's not really necessary to have long-range bomber or attack planes.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29698 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 5547 times:

MD-500???

Where would the North Koreans have picked up 86 US built helicopters?



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5542 times:

Quite possibly through blackmarket armsdeals, or from Vietnam.
The US Army left quite a few behind there after the war (not to mention the inventory of the South Vietnamese military).

China also builds (built??) some western aircraft (either under license or by reverse engineering them), among others the MD-80 and Gazelle.
That might also be a possibility.

The MiG-21s and -23s would be considered frontline fighters. While not the most modern, they are a match for the older ROKAF aircraft.
ROKAF still has quite a few old aircraft, notably F-5s, in service.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5520 times:

The MD-500 is a fairly new chopper, it wasn't around during the Vietnam war.

The Koreans bought these civilian helicopters in 1985, indirectly, thus avoiding US export controls, but the US gov did stop deliveries at a certain point.

info from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/airforce.htm

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13044 posts, RR: 78
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5525 times:

The idea behind getting those MD500's was probably to paint them in South Korean colours-they have large numbers of this type, for infiltration missions, a big part on N.Korean military planning.


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