Skip to comments.South Korea seeks stealth jet edge while North's MiGs age
Posted on 09/25/2013 11:54:50 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
South Korea seeks stealth jet edge while North's MiGs age
(Reuters) - South Korea's decision to reject a bid by Boeing (BA.N) to supply 60 warplanes and to re-issue a tender was made in the interests of stealth technology but may not be justified given North Korea's weak air capabilities, experts said.
Lockheed Martin's (LMT.N) F-35A, previously considered too expensive, has shot to the front of the race for a multi-billion dollar deal after the Defence Ministry singled out a fifth-generation fighter as the preferred option.
Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle, the only bid within budget, had been poised to win the 8.3 trillion won ($7.7 billion) tender. But former military top brass and ruling party legislators had criticized the aircraft for lacking stealth capabilities.
However, the air power of old rival North Korea was, by itself, not enough to warrant scrapping the tender in favor of stealth, experts said.
"It should not be hard to get air superiority against North Korea using conventional fighters because the air force is basically grounded, their pilots don't have any experience, and their air defence is from the 1950s," said Markus Schiller, senior analyst at Munich-based Schmucker Technologie.
"The capability that they get with the F-15 would be sufficient."
The North Korean air force operates a fleet of more than 1,300 aircraft, most of them Soviet-era models, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote in a report to Congress in 2012.
The North's most capable combat aircraft are its MiG-29s, one of which appeared as the backdrop in a photograph of North Korea's young leader, Kim Jong-un, posing with soldiers last year.
MiG-21 and MiG-23 jets make up most of the rest of North Korea's combat fleet of about 400 aircraft, according to intelligence estimates.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
They could only buy 28 of them for their 7.7 billion.
It's a great plane though.
The Nork’s SOLE advantage, and primary threat, is that they can kill a whole lot of people in a very short period of time, with 10,000+ artillery tubes pointed at Seoul.
They don’t need to be high-tech to lob a 20-lb. shell.
Yes, we can take them all out eventually, but how many die in the meantime?
Given that the US is no longer a reliable ally, maybe that would be a good idea. They could even work a deal with the Sov, er, Russkis to upgrade the avionics and sensors for them.
Seems like there would be an advantage in having the capital be in a city hundred miles south.
The main problem with costly fighters is their number.
Equipped with 6 air to air missiles you may shot down 6 enemy fighters but what happens then your enemy can effort 7 times more cheap aircraft?
On of F-35s mayor problems is the price and after that comes “can’t turn can’t climb can’t run” (RAND corporation). Without missiles left the seventh MIG21 will be a big problem.
“Geek of the week: Frederick Lanchester and why quantity has a quality all of its own”