ThirtyEcho
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Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Fri Oct 18, 2002 2:45 pm

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?
 
LY744
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:09 pm

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
 
jwenting
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sat Oct 19, 2002 12:42 am

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
 
GDB
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sat Oct 19, 2002 1:33 am

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.
 
LMP737
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sun Oct 20, 2002 7:19 am

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.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
ryu2
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sun Oct 20, 2002 2:37 pm

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.
 
L-188
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sun Oct 20, 2002 3:10 pm

MD-500???

Where would the North Koreans have picked up 86 US built helicopters?
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
jwenting
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sun Oct 20, 2002 3:24 pm

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
 
LY744
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Sun Oct 20, 2002 11:06 pm

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
 
GDB
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RE: Status Of North Korean Air Force Today

Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:40 am

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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