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North Korea moves warplanes to intercept American bombers

By Marshall Connolly
9/26/2017 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The region inches closer to war as bellicose rhetoric comes from both sides.

North Korea has moved fighter jets to airfields on the eastern side of the peninsula to intercept American bombers, should any attempt to fly near the country's border. A government spokesman has pledged they will shoot down any American aircraft which come near, even if they are not over North Korean airspace.

Kim Jong Un sits in the cockpit of a MiG 29 'Fulcrum' fighter.

Kim Jong Un sits in the cockpit of a MiG 29 'Fulcrum' fighter.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
9/26/2017 (2 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: North Korea, World War 3, peace, war, conflict, nuclear, Kim Jong Un, Trump, China


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- North Korea has pledged to shoot down any U.S. aircraft which approach their airspace, even if they are over international waters. To bolster their threat, the North has transferred more aircraft to the eastern side of the peninsula.

The movement of aircraft was reported by the South Korean intelligence service and media. The statement that the north will shoot down American aircraft was issued by the dictatorship's foreign minister at the United Nations, Ri Young-ho.


Ri told the UN, "Trump claimed our leadership would not be around much longer. He declared a war on our country."

It would be foolhardy for the North to attempt to shoot down an American aircraft in peacetime. The American bomber flights are usually conducted by supersonic B1 Lancer bombers out of Guam. They are usually escorted by F-15 Eagle fighters or F-35 Lightning II fighters.

The MiG 29 is a capable fighter, but the North only has a handful, and it is a generation older than the American adversaries it is likely to face.

The MiG 29 is a capable fighter, but the North only has a handful, and it is a generation older than the American adversaries it is likely to face.


The most advanced fighter in the North Korean arsenal is the MiG 29 "Fulcrum." The north also has large numbers of the short-range, but fast MiG 21 "Fishbed" interceptors. Before the North could intercept an American bomber such as a Lancer, they would first have to detect it, then scramble their fighters. The process would take several minutes. By the time the interceptors are airborne, the bombers would likely be too far ahead, and too fast to intercept. The North could counter this by having planes in the air at all time, but that's expensive, and adds wear to their aircraft.

The MiG 21 is an even older design, dating back to the 1950s, but it has been improved though the 1990s (shown: MiG 21bis). It has high speed and is maneuverable, but has short range. It

The MiG 21 is an even older design, dating back to the 1950s, but it has been improved though the 1990s (shown: MiG 21bis). It has high speed and is maneuverable, but has short range. It's best use is in attacking swarms, since it is outclassed by more modern designs.


Should the North successfully intercept the American aircraft, they would then have to lock weapons and fire. American forces probably have strict rules of engagement which would prevent them from shooting first. Even the best missiles in the North's arsenal will be susceptible to state-of-the-art jamming and countermeasures.

The bomber would provide the easiest target, with the F-35 and F-15s being nimble enough to dodge missiles fired at long range. The reliability of the North's air-to-air missiles is also suspect.

A pair of B1 bombers is escorted by F-15 and F-35 fighters. The F-15 is a dedicated interceptor, and poses a serious threat to anything that approaches. The F-35 is stealthy, and will surprise any enemy that comes near. All aircraft are fast, making them difficult to intercept.

A pair of B1 bombers is escorted by F-15 and F-35 fighters. The F-15 is a dedicated interceptor, and poses a serious threat to anything that approaches. The F-35 is stealthy, and will surprise any enemy that comes near. All aircraft are fast, making them difficult to intercept.


Following that, the outcome of the incident would be inevitable. The escorting American fighters would make short work of their adversaries.

What happens after that remains open to speculation, but it is probable that war could follow. Neither President Trump nor Kim Jong Un are likely to back down following such a high-profile incident. And if the North did manage to shoot down an American airplane, the collective rage of the American public would guarantee war.

A war would mean the end of the regime of Kim Jong Un. The only question is how costly the conflict will be. The North has powerful first-strike capabilities, but once American and South Korean forces are brought to bear, the North's capabilities will be quickly degraded down to defensive only. North Korea's troops might not choose to fight to the death for a regime that starves and terrorizes them, no matter how brainwashed they may appear.

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