North Korea indigenous aircraft

LVisingr

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I just received this awesome book:

The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun

And the chapter about North Korean air force contains info (and even photos!) about several domestic aircraft projects, such as:

- single-engine propeller attack aircraft from 1970s, apparently a hybrid of Il-10 and Yak-18, maybe one prototype only
- twin-engine propeller attack and/or training aircraft from 1980s, apparently similar to Yak-6, only small series manufactured
- modified MiG-15UTI with a dorsal fuel tank, similar to the MiG-21SMT design
 

Geo

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I just received this awesome book:

The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun

And the chapter about North Korean air force contains info (and even photos!) about several domestic aircraft projects, such as:

- single-engine propeller attack aircraft from 1970s, apparently a hybrid of Il-10 and Yak-18, maybe one prototype only
- twin-engine propeller attack and/or training aircraft from 1980s, apparently similar to Yak-6, only small series manufactured
- modified MiG-15UTI with a dorsal fuel tank, similar to the MiG-21SMT design
About NK Fulcrums…


There are enough rumours about the supply of the MiG-29 to the DPRK, about the limited licensed production of these aircraft and also about the NK ability to keep these aircraft operational under embargos.

These rumours have a wide range - from a few serviceable pieces to several dozen aircraft, including a certain ability to produce aircraft till now. Apparently, the DPRK has the ability to repair even most components of RD-33 engines.

In any case, as recent parades show, NK technologies are in fact underestimated rather than overestimated… The DPRK modernized Fulcrum's avionics about 10 years ago, including the installation of big MFD in the cockpit:

KPAF_MiG-29.jpg

Source:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5fUrDww5Bc&t=1112s
(21:35)

This video is from 2014 - and in the meantime the DPRK has literally made a technological leap. We may be very surprised in the near future...

(Jinak tě srdečně zdravím. Jirka O. ;))
 

LVisingr

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Yes, there are also several paragraphs about MiG-29s.
The book states that they were assembled in the DRPK and deeply modernized, MFD included.
 

Wyvern

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I just received this awesome book:

The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun

And the chapter about North Korean air force contains info (and even photos!) about several domestic aircraft projects, such as:

- single-engine propeller attack aircraft from 1970s, apparently a hybrid of Il-10 and Yak-18, maybe one prototype only
- twin-engine propeller attack and/or training aircraft from 1980s, apparently similar to Yak-6, only small series manufactured
- modified MiG-15UTI with a dorsal fuel tank, similar to the MiG-21SMT design
Are there any available pictures or drawings for these aircraft in the west, or are sources for such aircraft completely non-existent? Is any performance data or armament known?
 

LVisingr

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Are there any available pictures or drawings for these aircraft in the west, or are sources for such aircraft completely non-existent? Is any performance data or armament known?

I have already tried to google something, but so far no success. In the book, there are several photos of the aircraft mentioned above, also two color profiles by Tom Cooper, and short descriptions and assessments.
 

Maro.Kyo

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I just received this awesome book:

The Armed Forces of North Korea: On the Path of Songun

And the chapter about North Korean air force contains info (and even photos!) about several domestic aircraft projects, such as:

- single-engine propeller attack aircraft from 1970s, apparently a hybrid of Il-10 and Yak-18, maybe one prototype only
- twin-engine propeller attack and/or training aircraft from 1980s, apparently similar to Yak-6, only small series manufactured
- modified MiG-15UTI with a dorsal fuel tank, similar to the MiG-21SMT design
About NK Fulcrums…


There are enough rumours about the supply of the MiG-29 to the DPRK, about the limited licensed production of these aircraft and also about the NK ability to keep these aircraft operational under embargos.

These rumours have a wide range - from a few serviceable pieces to several dozen aircraft, including a certain ability to produce aircraft till now. Apparently, the DPRK has the ability to repair even most components of RD-33 engines.

In any case, as recent parades show, NK technologies are in fact underestimated rather than overestimated… The DPRK modernized Fulcrum's avionics about 10 years ago, including the installation of big MFD in the cockpit:

View attachment 651193

Source:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5fUrDww5Bc&t=1112s
(21:35)

This video is from 2014 - and in the meantime the DPRK has literally made a technological leap. We may be very surprised in the near future...

(Jinak tě srdečně zdravím. Jirka O. ;))
Didn't knew about such efforts, probably overshadowed by their nuclear missile program. Even with those avionics improvements, I can't really think of those situations where a few dozen Fulcrums, including those that could have possibly been license produced in NK, doing much work in case an all-out war breaks out. Probably the reason these improvements were not widely known as well.
 

Foo Fighter

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That first picture resembles 5 O'clock Charlie.
 

Wyvern

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Is the armament for each aircraft type known?
 

Geo

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These planes are from the 70's - 80's, technologically much older.
But 40 years have passed since then and the development in the DPRK has certainly not stopped. It certainly has adequate dynamics.
It would be very interesting to know what is current level the DPRK aviation industry, when we look at the technological level of new "M-2020" tanks, "Kimskander" missile systems etc.
 

kaiserbill

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They have consistently shown they are smart enough to direct their defence spending towards things that matter: Making an invasion way too an expensive and difficult a prospect for anyone.

Primarily, the ability to deliver a nuclear payload via missile to the homeground of anyone contemplating that. It also forces a political dynamic to matters.
The ability of their ground forces to make it very difficult and bloody for an invasion.
The ability of their navy to try and influence matters via a varied submarine force.

The rest, such as up-to-date fighter jets and more, bigger vessels for the surface fleet, is a nice-to-have, but not essential to this deterrence doctrine. No point in competing in an arena that is so costly for little positive outcome. So, funding will likely continue for nukes, missiles, ground forces, and special forces primarily.
I have said it before... it's a smart, practical doctrine from their perspective.

From an aviation perspective, about the only sensible indigenous project might be in the field of a helicopter, a light primary trainer, and perhaps a dual trainer/light attack jet aircraft at the upper end...assuming they can't purchase overseas.
The world seems to be retreating into camps or blocs, so I reckon when the time comes to warm over the interceptors or higher end combat jets, and bigger ticket items, they will simply look next door to their neighbours.

Edit: Having said that, the MFD on the Mig-29 is interesting. Thanks, I hadn't picked that up before.
I agree that NK is constantly underestimated in many areas.
It's partly a result of the low standard of speculative journalism churned out combined with unverified rumour mongering, and partly a result of disinformation here in the Western media, that goes hand in hand with NK's own disinformation.
 
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supergaleb

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North Korea bought SU-25K in 1980s and there is no information they bought SU-25T nor SM nor any upgrade package yet we saw recently their SU-25 with laser designator along Kh-25L and Kh-29L, also if I remember correctly Kh-25L were also next to Mig-29s.

Some North Korean IL-28/H-5 were modified to launch Kh-35 cruise missiles.

It would not be surprising if Mig-29 in North Korean service was modified to do it too.

North Korea is known to be capable of producing RD-9 turbojet engine used on Mig-19 and remember that initial prototypes of SU-25 were powered by RD-9 then production models were by R-13 turbojet that was also used on Mig-21, just without afterburner.

North Korea managed to produce RD-250 rocket engine and improve it by increasing lifetime to 190 seconds that is 50% increase along gimballed nozzles like its RD-180.

70 ton Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile that by itself could put into low earth orbit 100 kilogram satellite as 120 ton Unha-3 space launch vehicle.

They successfuly tested and produced own equivalent of S-300 PMU1 / PMU2 with 30N6E phased electronically scanned array radar and 48N6 surface to air missile.

Honestly I would not be surprised if they could produce Mig-25 with Mig-31 avionics.
 
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bloody sky

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North Korea bought SU-25K in 1980s and there is no information they bought SU-25T nor SM nor any upgrade package yet we saw recently their SU-25 with laser designator along Kh-25L and Kh-29L, also if I remember correctly Kh-25L were also next to Mig-29s.

Some North Korean IL-28/H-5 were modified to launch Kh-35 cruise missiles.

It would not be surprising if Mig-29 in North Korean service was modified to do it too.

North Korea is known to be capable of producing RD-9 turbojet engine used on Mig-19 and remember that initial prototypes of SU-25 were powered by RD-9 then production models were by R-13 turbojet that was also used on Mig-21, just without afterburner.

North Korea managed to produce RD-250 rocket engine and improve it by increasing lifetime to 190 seconds that is 50% increase along gimballed nozzles like its RD-180.

70 ton Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile that by itself could put into low earth orbit 100 kilogram satellite as 120 ton Unha-3 space launch vehicle.

They successfuly tested and produced owned equivalent to S-300 PMU1 / PMU2 with 30N6E phased electronically scanned array radar and 48N6 surface to air missile.

Honestly I would not be surprised if they could produce Mig-25 with Mig-31 avionics.
I think that they just could make fighters like the chinese J-8……
(0v0)
 

supergaleb

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North Korea bought SU-25K in 1980s and there is no information they bought SU-25T nor SM nor any upgrade package yet we saw recently their SU-25 with laser designator along Kh-25L and Kh-29L, also if I remember correctly Kh-25L were also next to Mig-29s.

Some North Korean IL-28/H-5 were modified to launch Kh-35 cruise missiles.

It would not be surprising if Mig-29 in North Korean service was modified to do it too.

North Korea is known to be capable of producing RD-9 turbojet engine used on Mig-19 and remember that initial prototypes of SU-25 were powered by RD-9 then production models were by R-13 turbojet that was also used on Mig-21, just without afterburner.

North Korea managed to produce RD-250 rocket engine and improve it by increasing lifetime to 190 seconds that is 50% increase along gimballed nozzles like its RD-180.

70 ton Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile that by itself could put into low earth orbit 100 kilogram satellite as 120 ton Unha-3 space launch vehicle.

They successfuly tested and produced owned equivalent to S-300 PMU1 / PMU2 with 30N6E phased electronically scanned array radar and 48N6 surface to air missile.

Honestly I would not be surprised if they could produce Mig-25 with Mig-31 avionics.
I think that they just could make fighters like the chinese J-8……
(0v0)
North Korea literally produces more modern PESA radar compared to one in initial production model of Mig-31 that they could choose to simply upgrade electronics and radars of Mig-21/J-7 that would give comparable or greater radar range than Mig-29A.

Considering that there are commonalities in technology between turbopumps for rocket engines and jet engines for aircrafts thus with performance of North Korean improved RD-250 that they are capable of producing R-25 turbojet that is used on venerable Mig-21Bis and two R-25s would be enough to lift Mig-29 and go Mach 2.

Or go with something like diabolical Mig-23 with single huge turbojet or two of those and go for Mig-25 kinetic performance and have radar equivalent to one in Mig-31.

Then they can mount KN-23 on it and launch 200 to 300 kiloton fuck you at 1500-2000 kilometers away American carrier group in case of total war and nuclear apocalypse.

But will they invest that? No.

They invest in ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and surface to air missiles along some conventional forces where it matters the most and is most cost effective detterence.
 

Geo

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Thanks, supergaleb, interesting observations.
You are absolutely right about the priorities, after all, they are clearly defined in the current five-year plan, approved in January this year. There are very interesting things in the document, by the way, "unmanned strike vehicle" and a reconnaissance UAV with a radius of at least 500 km.
But they also really want new fighter jets and they don't have a chance to get them abroad, so I personally think that in the next five years (2026-2030) we will see a big NK surprise.
 

supergaleb

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Thanks, supergaleb, interesting observations.
You are absolutely right about the priorities, after all, they are clearly defined in the current five-year plan, approved in January this year. There are very interesting things in the document, by the way, "unmanned strike vehicle" and a reconnaissance UAV with a radius of at least 500 km.
But they also really want new fighter jets and they don't have a chance to get them abroad, so I personally think that in the next five years (2026-2030) we will see a big NK surprise.
I am aware of that, considering that they recently tested land attack cruise missile with at least 1500 kilometer range thus it is realistic for them to have goal of 500 kilometer on basis of endurance and capacity of jet engine to propel whatever weight of the aircraft along communication capability with unmanned aerial vehicle. Best solution for them involving fighter jet development is to try reverse engineer RD-33 to produce it domestically and produce single engine fighter jet to replace Mig-19, 21, 23 and maybe even 29.
 

Geo

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Yes.
During more than 30 years of use and self-sufficient service, they had to know literally "every screw" of RD-33. And during the last LRCM test they officially confirmed that the turbofan technology itself is no stranger to them at all ...
 

supergaleb

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I am sure they know every single detail about dimensions, weight and purpose of each component of RD-33 while question is do they have metallurgy and machinery capable to achieve comparable or better quality than RD-33 used in Mig-29s as RD-33 is much larger than mini-turbofans than something like R95-300/MS-400 or TRD-50.
 
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