ADEX 2021: Persistent threat from North Korea drives RoKAF modernisation

by Gareth Jennings

A RoKAF F-15K Slam Eagle flies alongside a Peace Eye AEW&C platform. Both platforms have featured in the service's modernisation efforts over years, geared at addressing the persistent threat from North Korea. (Boeing)

Despite an increased emphasis on participating in multinational operations over recent years, the focus for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) remains in countering the persistent threat from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the north.

As noted by Janes World Air Force (JWAF), the RoKAF is a full-spectrum air arm, fielding the latest capabilities in the domains of air defence, strike, air mobility, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

The service currently fields about 800 aircraft, of which about 450 are frontline combat assets comprising 36 of a contracted 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), 59 Boeing F-15K Slam Eagles, 188 Lockheed Martin KF-16C/D Fighting Falcons, 150 Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs, 20 McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs, and 22 Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) T/FA-50s (also known as TA-50), as well as numerous fixed- and rotary-winged air mobility, surveillance, and special mission platforms.


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Taiwan reports underplay ‘hundreds' of PLA aircraft in live-fire drills

by Akhil Kadidal

China's Eastern Theatre Command says it is launching hundreds of aircraft to participate in live-fire drills around Taiwan. (VCG via Getty Images)

China says it is dispatching hundreds of combat aircraft to the six live-fire zones around Taiwan. However, Taipei's daily air incursion reports show smaller figures. Janes assesses that this could partly be because of strains on the country's radar network.

China launched a four-day live-fire exercise around Taiwan from 4 August, in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 2 August.

On the first day of the drills, the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Eastern Theatre Command said that it had “dispatched hundreds of fighters, bombers, and other multitype [aircraft] to the airspace in the north, southwest, and southeast of Taiwan Island”.

The PLA added that the aircraft are conducting “day and night” joint reconnaissance flights, air assault training, and support flights. All six live-fire zones are within Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).


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Israeli military threatened UNIFIL ship

by Jeremy Binnie

An Indonesian Navy AS565 helicopter hovers over the Turkish corvette Heybeliada as other vessels serving with the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force follow behind during an exercise on 28 July. (Millî Savunma Bakanlığı)

Israeli aircraft threatened a naval vessel assigned to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon's (UNIFIL's) Maritime Task Force in early June, the latest UN report on the mission's performance revealed.

The threatening behaviour began on 6 June, when six Israeli fighter aircraft manoeuvred near the vessel, launching flares and generating supersonic booms. On the following day, six Israeli fighters flew over the same vessel, which “detected the electronic signature of a fire-control radar in lock on mode heading towards it”, according to the report, which was released on 27 July.

The report said the vessel was in the UNIFIL maritime area of operations in the vicinity of the Karish offshore gas field when the incidents occurred.

The field crosses into the expanded exclusive economic zone that Lebanon has claimed since 2011. Israel decided to develop the field before resolving this maritime border dispute, and a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel arrived there on 5 June to start extracting gas.


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China launches ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan

by Ridzwan Rahmat & Jon Grevatt & Rahul Udoshi

Caption: According to the Japanese MoD, five of the missiles launched from within China on 4 August fell within Japan's exclusive economic zone. Some of the missiles also flew across Taiwan. (© 2022 MOD Japan/©2022 Janes)

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) launched a barrage of ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan on 4 August.

Janes analysis suggests that these missiles include the Dong Feng-15 (DF-15) and DF-16 family of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs).

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said a total of nine missiles were launched on 4 August from within China into waters southwest, northeast, and east of Taiwan between 2.56 pm and 4.08 pm Japan Standard Time.

This tallies with information provided by a Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesperson, who said in a press conference on 4 August that the missile launches started at 1.56 pm Taipei Standard Time.

The MND has not disclosed any information about the number of missiles launched, but various Taiwanese media reports indicate that up to 11 ballistic missiles may have been fired.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/adex-2021-persistent-threat-from-north-korea-drives-rokaf-modernisation

Despite an increased emphasis on participating in multinational operations over recent years, the fo...

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