Friday, October 13, 2017

Could North Korea Really Shoot Down a U.S. F-15 or B-1 Bomber

North Korea considers and a recent Twitter comment from President Donald Trump to effectively be a declaration of war against Pyongyang. As such, the Kim regime says that it will retaliate—potentially even engaging U.S. Air Force bombers flying around the Korean peninsula over international waters.

“The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York. “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”

Ri was referring to a Trump’s tweet on September 23 where he suggested that North Korea might no longer exist in the near future. “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!” Trump said.

The North Korean air force only has a handful of relatively modern fighters including the early versions of the Soviet Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum and the MiG-23 Flogger that could threaten American warplanes. Neither are likely to be able to get close enough to a B-1B, Boeing B-52 or a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber before being unceremoniously blown out of the sky by American fighter escorts.

North Korea would have a better chance at shooting down a bomber with a surface-to-air missile battery if the American aircraft were close enough. While the overwhelming majority of North Korean air defenses are older Soviet systems, Pyongyang does field some surprisingly capable indigenous weapons.

“They have a mix of old Soviet SAMs [surface-to-air missiles], including the S-75, S-125, S-200 and Kvadrat, which are likely in more or less good condition,” Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics told The National Interest earlier this year. “They used to produce the S-75 themselves—and those could have received some significant upgrades. In addition to them, since early the 2010s they are fielding an indigenous modern SAM system which is called KN-06 by South Korea and the U.S.”
Could North Korea Really Shoot Down a U.S. F-15 or B-1 Bomber Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Minato Namikaze