Threat Tuesday – NorK “Green” Air Force

Courtesy Yonhap Photos

This still image taken from North Korea’s official Korean Central Television Broadcasting Station on Jan. 31, 2012 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un taking a look at the cockpit of a plane during an inspection of the North’s Air Force unit 1017 honored with the title of the Oh Jung-hup-led Seventh Regiment. According to North Korean accounts, Oh Jung-hup was the commander of the seventh regiment of the North’s founder Kim Il-sung’s anti-Japanese guerrilla unit during the second half of the 1930s and was killed during combat with Japanese troops to safeguard the top commander, Kim Il-sung, in the spring of 1940. (Yonhap)

Kim Jong-Un at NKAF Unit 1017

That’s not a trick of the camera; the plane is actually green! In another view here, we can see that the plane actually has a very interesting paint scheme; green tones on the upper surfaces and blues/grays on the lower surfaces. This scheme is very similar to standard Soviet Air Force summer schemes of World War II.  Looks like the NorKs at least try to keep then antenna surfaces good for  transmitting. And look at the pilot in the brown leather flight suit!

The airplane appears to be an original 9.12 (NATO: MiG-29B Fulcrum-A) variant, most likely the downgraded 9.12B export variant North Korea was reported to have bought from Belarus in 1995. The NorKs are also known to operate the later 9.13 (MiG-29SE Fulcrum-C) with the enlarged dorsal spine.

What you DON'T want to see!

NorK Mig-29’s are rarely seen in public. The first (and maybe most famous occasion) was in 2003 when a NorK MiG-29 intercepted a USAF RC-135 over the Sea of Japan. The aircraft involved appeared to be a 9.13 armed with a drop tanks and what looks like R-60 (NATO: Aa-8 Aphid) short-range air-to-air missiles.

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