Tag Archives: Republic of Korea Air Force

South Korean F-15 Pilots Salute Returning Soldier’s Remains in Touching Tribute.

Dignified Tribute to Fallen Heroes is Heart Wrenching to Watch.

Aviation journalist and expert Ian D’Costa shared a video on Monday we had to pass on. This Korean news video, originally published on bemil.chosun.com, loosely translated from Korean as “Military News”, is a dignified and heart-wrenching tribute to South Korea’s repatriated fallen soldiers from the Korean Conflict.

On Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in cancelled the traditional South Korean military anniversary parade in favor of holding a ceremony for the arrival of remains of South Korean soldiers killed during the Korean conflict. The remains were repatriated earlier this year from North Korea, flown to Hawaii’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for DNA identification and, once verified as South Korean servicemen, scheduled to return to South Korea for formal military burial.

D’Costa managed to find the Korean in-flight newsreel video of a Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K Slam Eagle of the 11th Fighter Wing from Daegu, South Korea joining other aircraft including FA-50 Fighting Eagles of the 8th Fighter Wing at Wonju, South Korea as they escort the remains flight in a ROKAF C-130H transport.

The newsreel video published on bemil.chosun.com shows an F-15K Slam Eagle crew fly right wing formation alongside the remains flight C-130H and, with perfect military precision, render a final in-flight salute before dropping back to fly wedge formation while escorting the aircraft. It’s a heart-wrenching moment to see.

The video goes on to show the precise and reverent loading of the remains onboard the C-130K flight in Hawaii for return to South Korea. The remains repatriation flight was escorted by two ROKAF F-15K Slam Eagles and two FA-50 Fighting Eagles.

The dignified gestures attendant the handling of military remains is an important ritual in observing the personal loss to families of fallen servicemen. In this case, the rituals are also a historic part of the slow healing process between the two fractured Koreas.

The aerial funeral procession in flight near South Korea as it returns from Hawaii. (Photo: via bemil.chosun.com.)

According to several sources including CNN, South Korea suffered 217,000 military and a staggering “1,000,000” civilian casualties during the entire Korean Conflict which began on June 25th, 1950 and continued to varying degrees until April 27, 2018 when talks between North and South Korea brokered by the United States brought an end to the conflict. According to reports, 7,704 U.S. servicemen remain unaccounted for following the end of the Korean Conflict.

Thanks to Ian D’Costa of The Tactical Air Network, Sightline Media Group and We Are The Mighty for letting us know about this story.

Top image: screenshot from video published at bemil.chosun.com

Chinese Aircraft Enters South Korean Identification Zone, Seoul Scrambles ROKAF Fighters

South Korean F-15K Slam Eagles and KF-16s Reported to Have Responded.

It hasn’t taken long for things on the Korean peninsula to get interesting again following the brief lull in military drama during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

News outlets from around Asia have reported an incident between Republic of Korea (ROK) aircraft and Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft. According to the Korea Herald, “On Tuesday [Feb. 27] a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighter entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone (Korea-ADIZ, or KADIZ) for more than four hours without notifying South Korean authorities.”

The Korea Herald story went on to quote the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying the Chinese aircraft, “…came close to South Korean territory, prompting the [Republic of Korea] Air Force to scramble fighter jets to monitor its activity.”

Additional reports from several Asian news outlets say that the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) responded by scrambling “more than 10 aircraft” (source: Korea Herald) that included South Korean F-15K Slam Eagles and KF-16 Fighting Falcons.

The type of Chinese “fighter” intercepted was not identified in reports we were able to access.

According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs, the Chinese fighter entered South Korea’s ADIZ at 9:34 am local time on Tuesday and approached South Korean territory northwest of Ulleungdo in the Sea of Japan, coming as close as 55.5 kilometers to South Korean territory. According to the report published in The Diplomat, after receiving warnings from the South Korean Air Force the Chinese fighter left the area at 2:01 pm. The Chinese fighter’s flight path required it to transit the Tsushima strait, between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. The report in The Diplomat went on to quote South Korean Joint Chiefs as saying, “Our military warned it [the Chinese aircraft] to stop the act of raising tensions that can trigger an accidental conflict through the South Korea-China [military] hotline and [pilot’s] radio communication”. The South Korean Joint Chiefs went on to describe the Chinese fighter’s flight path as “unusual” according to the report.

Chinese aircraft have previously violated South Korea’s ADIZ, but have usually done so on the western side of the Korean Peninsula or in the northern reaches of the East China Sea.

While various news outlets reported the Chinese aircraft in the most recent incident as being a “fighter”, one source, the South China Morning Post, published an article earlier this year on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by reporter Kinling Lo that cited another incident of Chinese aircraft flying into the South Korean air defense identification zone (Korea-ADIZ or KADIZ) that identified that aircraft as a Chinese PLAAF Y-8 transport.

Kinling Lo’s report in the South China Morning Post is interesting because there are a number of electronic surveillance variants of the Shaanxi Y-8 also referred to regionally as the “Yunshuji-8”.

If reports of the type of aircraft detected in the late January incidents are accurate it is possible what the South Koreans may be seeing (but this is not verified) is an intelligence gathering variant of the Y-8 such as the Y-8J Mask, Y-8CB Cub/High New 1, Y-8JB Mace/High New 2 or Y-8G Cub/High New 3, although this latest variant is reported to be in use mostly along the Chinese/Indian border. According to several sources including the Modern Chinese Warplanes page on Facebook, one of these Y-8G aircraft, Y-8GX-3 (no. 30513) assigned to the 20th Division was reported as lost on Jan. 29, 2018.

One of the things we’ve learned from these incidents around the world along areas of controlled national airspace is that nations will try to construct an electronic order of battle by using flights in close proximity to a border. When their aircraft approach the border and the detecting country begins to interrogate the approaching aircraft a significant amount of intelligence about response times, tactics, electronic order of battle and other information can be collected. This is sometimes done by a surveillance aircraft itself making the flight or by sending another aircraft, such as a tactical aircraft as this most recent report suggests, to the border in question and then collecting data about the opposing country’s response by using some type of airborne surveillance platform such as the Chinese Y-8 ELINT aircraft previously mentioned.

Previous intercepts by South Korea of Chinese aircraft have included ELINT platforms such as the Shaanxi Y-8 family of aircraft. (Photo: Modern Chinese Warplanes/Facebook)

While these incidents are certainly noteworthy and interesting, an incursion into an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is not excessively ominous since these zones are considered sovereign or territorial air space and are unilaterally declared by states to monitor activity by foreign aircraft during an approach toward their own territorial airspace. It is worth noting these incidents since they often provide a fascinating insight into the air-to-air, air defense and electronic order of battle of both nations involved.

Top image credit: ROKAF

Stunning pictures show U.S. F-16s conducting a night elephant walk in South Korea

Some impressive images captured at Kunsan Air Base during a recent elephant walk exercise.

Taken on Feb. 3, 2016 these striking photos feature U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons of the 8th Fighter Wing Wolf Pack, performing a night elephant walk at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea during exercise Beverly Pack 16-2.

8th FW Elephant Walk

As we have already explained elephant walk exercises are conducted to test squadrons ability to launch a large formation of aircraft with little notice.

Beverly Pack 16-2 is jointly conducted with Republic of Korea Air Force and is aimed to demonstrate the U.S. ability of responding to wartime and armistice threats in the Korean Peninsula.

Elephant Walks are quite frequent in South Korea and are an interesting show of force in response to the North Korea’s aggressive posture. But they are not the only way Washington flexes muscles at Pyongyang: on Jan. 10, following North Korea’s nuclear test, a U.S. Air Force B-52 from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, performed a low-level flight over Osan Air Base, South Korea.

Night Elephant Walk

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson / U.S. Air Force

 

Watch South Korean and U.S. combat planes drop bombs on range hills during massive show of force

That’s a live firing exercise!

The following video was filmed in mid August 2015, at Seungjin Training Field, South Korea, during 2015 Integrated Live Fire Exercise.

It shows, among the others, ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) F-15Ks and KF-16s, dropping bombs on the range, ROKA AH-64, MD500 and KUH-1 helicopters, MRLS as well as some U.S. Air Force A-10s using its GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm hydraulically driven seven-barrel Gatling-type.

The drills were also supported by a South Korean Boeing 737 AEW&C Peace Eye that can be seen at the beginning of the video releasing flares.

The interesting footage shows an air power demo (to flex muscles against North Korea and China) rather than actual firing training: needless to say, no combat plane would ever use purple or yellow smoke during a real combat sortie.

Many thanks to @andiegewehre for the heads-up

 

Black Eagles team at Singapore 2014: behind the scenes video of the deployment

Republic of Korea Air Force’s aerobatic display team “Black Eagles” was one of the highlights of the recent Singapore Airshow 2014.

The 53rd Air Demonstration Group, nicknamed Black Eagles is, since Dec. 12, 1994, the official aerobatic display team of the ROKAF. Back then they flew the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly aircraft.

The team is based at Wonju airbase and is equipped with the T-50 Golden Eagle since 2010, when the Black Eagles was reactivated after a being temporarily disbanded in 2007, and has also undertaken a European tour in 2012, when the team displayed at RAF Fairford during the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The T-50s took part in the Singapore Airshow and the following interesting video published by the ROKAF shows the preparation and execution of their 5,300 km deployment.

Top image credit: ROKAF

 

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