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South Korea's F-15K the best fighter in NE Asia: report

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by layman, Dec 10, 2013.

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  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    A Republic of Korea Air Force F-15K Slam Eagle. (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

    The F-15K Slam Eagle of the Republic of Korea Air Force is currently considered the most advanced fighter in Northeast Asia when compared to its Chinese and Japanese counterparts, the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao reports.

    After Beijing established its air defense identification zone on Nov. 23, tensions between China, Japan and South Korea have heightened over the disputed East China Sea. There are disputes between China and Japan over the Diaoyutai (called the Diaoyu in China, the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyutai in Taiwan), between China and South Korea over Socotra Rock (called Ieodo in South Korea and Suyan in China), and between Japan and South Korea over the Liancourt Rocks (called the Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan).

    The People's Liberation Army Air Force claims that its domestically produced Chengdu J-10 fighter is able to track 20 targets and attack four of them simultaneously from 150 kilometers away. However, the report concluded that the capability of China's domestic fighter had been greatly exaggerated. For this reason, it stated that China's best fighter today is the Shenyang J-11, which is based on Russia's Sukhoi Su-27SK, which is able to carry 8 tonnes of munitions.

    As for Japan and South Korea, Ta Kung Pao stated that Japan is the top buyer of the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle outside the United States. Due to the constitutional limitations on Japan designing weapons with offensive capabilities, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Mitsubishi F-15J/DJ Eagle is mainly designed to attack enemy aircraft intruding on Japanese airspace. The upgraded version known as F-15J Kai can carry AAM-4 air-to-air missiles.

    However, Japan's F-15J is still unable to compete with South Korea's F-15K Slam Eagle because the latter is designed with ground attack capabilities. While the F-15J is able to carry a payload of 10 tonnes, the F-15K can carry 11.4 tonnes. With a range of 1,760 km, the F-15K can launch aerial offensives against artillery within North Korea. Japan, however, has to call for support from its Mitsubishi F-2 fighter based on the US F-16 Fighting Falcon to launch tactical missions against a ground target.

    On this basis, Ta Kung Pao stated that South Korea currently has the most powerful air force in Northeast Asia. In addition, the KF-16 fighter introduced from the United States can also help the South Korean air force to conduct missions against the enemy on the ground with its Joint Direct Attack Munition just like the F-2 of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

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