The planned purchase by South Korea of 60 Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15SE Silent Eagle fighter/strike aircraft has been questioned by practically all Republic of Korea Air Force generals currently no longer active within the armed forces.
The Air Force should give priority to more stealthier and more recently developed fighters like the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II or the Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000) they say in a letter published by South Korean media. The generals feel the decision to go for the F-15SE is based mostly on money. The Silent Eagle might be capable, but doesn’t give the country a clear advantage in a possible war with North Korea, the former Air Force leadership feels.
In the published letter Korean president Park Geun-hye is called upon to give all three candidates a proper evaluation, secure additional funds and then select the best aircraft of the tests. Between the lines one can read it is clear the former RoKAF leadership aims for the F-35/Joint Strike Fighter.
The Royal Navy warship HMS Dragon, Royal Air Force Typhoons, US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet and US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles have put their skills and technology to the test during a recent joint exercise.
The goal was to detect, classify and monitor contacts on the sea’s surface in the challenging conditions of the Gulf. The Type 45 destroyer provides a complementary service to the highly manoeuvrable and effective Typhoon fast jet combat aircraft.
One of Dragon’s fighter controllers, Lieutenant Francis Heritage, said: “We received the help of a United States Air Force Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS, aircraft to cue our fighters onto their targets. The JSTARS surface radar is incredibly powerful. When combined with our own organic sensors and those of the jets under our control, we can provide force protection over a massive area.”
The American surveillance jet fed information directly into Dragon’s operations room, allowing the destroyer to cue fighter jets onto their objectives. HMS Dragon is in the second half of her inaugural deployment, which is a mix of carrying out maritime security operations with the UK’s Gulf partners and contributing to the wider air defence of the region, such as when she joined forces with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group a few weeks ago.