North Korean indigenous fighter/attack aircraft

CV12Hornet

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Yes and why do you say that? Did I anywhere assert it to be the case? No.

You are framing it as such when I stated what is know about what they achieved and it certainly was not focused on jet engines for cruise missiles as you and other choose to grasp straws about that while ignoring other elements besides jet engines such as ability to produce passive electronically scanned array radars such as 30N6E and 48N6 equivalent surface to air missile along recently testing new surface to air missile reminiscent of 9M96E2 with addition of large solid fuel booster thus they have decent radar and anti-air missile technology.
Then why the hell do you keep talking about cruise missiles when this is a thread about the North Koreans developing a fighter? I assumed you were in some way tying it to fighter development, because otherwise this is extremely off-topic.

If I'm ignoring something, it's because it's either not relevant, in the case of the SAMs, or I've already conceded it in the case of the PESA radar. See, this is my point: why on earth is their ability to develop a surface to air missile relevant to their ability to develop a fighter? It's not.

Why are you focusing on F-5 when you were talking about viability of RD-9? Because I pointed out that J85 is still in use while being still in use just as is when Chinese produced RD-9 designated WP-6 with JJ-6 and Q-5 still in service as decommission process is gradual.

That is my point when you complained about RD-9 not being viable while its still being used just like J85.

As for F-5 when you mention about it not being competitive fighter, do you mean in original configuration made by its manufacturer or localized upgrades since Brazil arranged extensive upgrades of F-5s that those can use Derby BVRAAM and they outlived Mirage 2000.
I'm focusing on the F-5 precisely because you pointed out that the J85 is in use - it is in use on a fighter that's not competitive in air to air and is on the way out. As for the J-6 and Q-5, well, I'll admit to being a little hasty in declaring the Q-5 out of service, but the J-6 definitely is (pg.15), and this brings me back to my original point: just because the engine is being used does not mean it's a viable fighter engine. The Q-5 is old, a dedicated ground attacker, being shoved out of service as fast as the Chinese can afford to do so, and was produced at a time when China couldn't do any better than modify the MiG-19. None of this points to it being useful for a current fighter project.

And I mean both - Brazil's F-5s are rocking a small pulse-doppler radar set and frankly would get eaten alive by any sort remotely modern fighter. They've outlasted Brazil's Mirage 2000 fleet not on any sort of technical merits, but because the Mirage 2000s were hand-me-downs from the French Air Force (And thus old) and the maintenance contract with Dassault was about to run out.

RD-9 is 25% heavier than two J85-GE-21 combined.

Two J85-GE-21 combined produce 6 percent more thrust without afterburner and RD-9 consumes 6 percent more.

RD-9 when using afterburners consumes (1.66 lb/h·lbf) per kN.

J85-GE-5 on T-38 Talon for example consumes (0.57 lb/h·lbf) per kN and (1.34 lb/h·lbf) per kN using afterburners.

Apply that 2.3 fold increase to J85-GE-21 used on F-5E Tiger II and that would be (2.23 lb/h·lbf) per kN when using afterburners.

J85-GE-21 would be consuming 34% more per kN with afterburners while generating 20% more afterburner thrust than RD-9.
You have zero evidence that that 2.3-fold increase carries over the -21 model. And even if it did that doesn't change all the rest of the advantages the twin J85 setup has over a single RD-9.
 

KonTim

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Some sources indicates that North Korean MIG-29 fleet is growing by assembling imported parts from Russia. These sources claims that the North Koreans have managed to locally produced improved versions of MIG-29 by a rate of five aircrafts per two years for the past 25 yeras. It seems that North Korea MIG-29 fleet numbers more than 100 samples(36 of the initial order from USSR in 1988+ 12 MIG-29S imported from Kazhakstan along with 70 MIG-21bis in 1992 + 60+ planes locally being assembled). That means that North Korea has managed to seriously developed her aerospace industry so the designing and production of an indigenously fighter aircraft must be considered as likely.


 

overscan (PaulMM)

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That means that North Korea has managed to seriously developed her aerospace industry so the designing and production of an indigenously fighter aircraft must be considered as likely.



Erm... no? You forgot to apply Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

This story is a great demonstration of my maxim that any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word "no." The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.

The MiG-29s only seem to be based at Sunchon AB along with the Su-25s with 2 battalions of each type. Serious estimates suggest 18-35 MiG-29s (satellite evidence exists for 31 Su-25s being flyable and 12 MiG-29s). Licence production of the MiG-29 most likely was assembly from knock-down kits supplied by the USSR, and I'm not convinced there is any evidence that "the designing and production of an indigenously fighter aircraft must be considered as likely".

Most countries start with something simple like a piston trainer and work up from there. India, Turkey and South Korea all demonstrated wide capabilities in general aerospace, large quantities of licensed builds, and engaged major partnerships with US and/or European industry to get to the point where they could design an indigenous fighter. North Korea at best could aspire to be an Iran.
 

Dilandu

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North Korea doesn't seems to be interested much in refitting their air force. The possible reason is, that they realize, that attempts to produce ingenious combat aircraft would consume a lot of time and resources - and would not bring significant advantages. The aerial superiority of potential adversaries is just too great, and North Korea territory is too small to provide for sufficient aircraft dispersion. So, they invested mostly in missiles, which are just more cost-efficient.
 

supergaleb

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Then why the hell do you keep talking about cruise missiles when this is a thread about the North Koreans developing a fighter? I assumed you were in some way tying it to fighter development, because otherwise this is extremely off-topic.
That is the problem, you assume too much by going with reading between lines attitude to assert something I didn't.

It is loosely tied to fighter development, issue is how you try to portray it as direct when it is not as you miss my point or are disingenuous.

When I mentioned cruise missiles, it is not about fighter development as you jumped to that conclusion as it is about their defense industry and technology used that in current state would not be use of for development of fighter jet thus I stated contextually that should be very obvious to you that by continuing to further develop and advance related technologies that at some point will be of use for fighter jet.

Why don't we look at Iran for example, at first they developed manufacturing capacity to reproduce various small turbojet engines for cruise missiles and they continued to invest in capability to produce jet engines which resulted in them being able to domestically make J85-GE-21 turbojet engine that is much larger and more complex than Tri-60 series used in Iranian cruise missiles and target drones.

Iran has reverse engineered FJ33 that is downscaled older FJ44 thus Iran has option to invest resources in upscaling it to FJ44 then attempt to reach performance of FJ44-4 that is larger than and as heavy as J85-GE-21 while providing same dry thrust at the half fuel consumption.

Then finally they would need to develop afterburner component for it and considering it being turbofan and diameter of FJ44 that thrust from afterburning should be considerably greater than 22kN that J85-GE-21 is capable of producing, at least 30 kN seems reasonable.

If I'm ignoring something, it's because it's either not relevant, in the case of the SAMs, or I've already conceded it in the case of the PESA radar. See, this is my point: why on earth is their ability to develop a surface to air missile relevant to their ability to develop a fighter? It's not.
It is relevant as armament is one of factors involving development of fighter jets as you could have AAM with range of 300km at most against AWACS / AEW yet radar that is not competent enough to detect and track it to guide AAM to shot those down or you could have radar with range to detect and track yet don't have AAM that could reach those hence not fully utilizing potential of one or another.

Its absurd to write off AAM from fighter development process, might as well be fine with F-22 without BVRAAM.

I'm focusing on the F-5 precisely because you pointed out that the J85 is in use - it is in use on a fighter that's not competitive in air to air and is on the way out. As for the J-6 and Q-5, well, I'll admit to being a little hasty in declaring the Q-5 out of service, but the J-6 definitely is (pg.15), and this brings me back to my original point: just because the engine is being used does not mean it's a viable fighter engine. The Q-5 is old, a dedicated ground attacker, being shoved out of service as fast as the Chinese can afford to do so, and was produced at a time when China couldn't do any better than modify the MiG-19. None of this points to it being useful for a current fighter project.

And I mean both - Brazil's F-5s are rocking a small pulse-doppler radar set and frankly would get eaten alive by any sort remotely modern fighter. They've outlasted Brazil's Mirage 2000 fleet not on any sort of technical merits, but because the Mirage 2000s were hand-me-downs from the French Air Force (And thus old) and the maintenance contract with Dassault was about to run out.
I said JJ-6 that is two set trainer jet of J-6 and which Q-5 as there is Q-5B with Type 317 and 317A radar thus is a strike fighter.

Q-5 came around same time as J-7 and production of both ended around same time.

EL/M-2032 is used by by Thai and Chilean F-5E's and Grifo-F is being used in Brazilian and Singaporean F-5E's.

EL/M-2032 was also implemented for Chinese J-7G and had 60km range.

Grifo-7 radar with weight of 55kg implemented for Pakistani F-7P and had range 55km range..

Weight of Grifo-F in F-5E's is 87kg hence you can speculate how much larger and more powerful is compared to Grifo-7.

Same for EL/M-2032 between implementation in J-7 and F-5E's.

Elbit states maximum range for look up air target detection at most 120 miles that is 220 kilometers. Not specified on what platform.

You have zero evidence that that 2.3-fold increase carries over the -21 model. And even if it did that doesn't change all the rest of the advantages the twin J85 setup has over a single RD-9.
Yes, without consideration of 2 engines compared 1 engine involving provisions to mount those 2 engines along there being 2 intakes.

Also we don't know if figures you cited are for J85-GE-21 and if you took those figures from Wikipedia where it is vague by not being specific which model of J85 is as maximum thrust is stated as 11-22 kN as 11kN is J85-GE-5 dry thrust and 22kN is J85-GE-21 afterburner.

Some sources indicates that North Korean MIG-29 fleet is growing by assembling imported parts from Russia. These sources claims that the North Koreans have managed to locally produced improved versions of MIG-29 by a rate of five aircrafts per two years for the past 25 yeras. It seems that North Korea MIG-29 fleet numbers more than 100 samples(36 of the initial order from USSR in 1988+ 12 MIG-29S imported from Kazhakstan along with 70 MIG-21bis in 1992 + 60+ planes locally being assembled). That means that North Korea has managed to seriously developed her aerospace industry so the designing and production of an indigenously fighter aircraft must be considered as likely.
They certaintly did not license from USSR to domestically produce Mig-29 and I know individual that worked as journalist before being game developer for an MMO that did some research, from what they could figure out from trade documents and what not that North Korea may have received technical data to produce some components of Mig-21 such as airframe along likely that North Korea got technical data along manufacturing tools to produce R-60 short range air to air missile.

North Korea showed of R-60M with warhead that has depleted uranium liner. Hot spicy stuff right there.

Most countries start with something simple like a piston trainer and work up from there. India, Turkey and South Korea all demonstrated wide capabilities in general aerospace, large quantities of licensed builds, and engaged major partnerships with US and/or European industry to get to the point where they could design an indigenous fighter. North Korea at best could aspire to be an Iran.
Iran is producing reverse engineered J85-GE-21 turbojet engine and has also reverse engineered FJ33 turbofan engine.

Iran and North Korea send scientists to each other along military officers to military academies, you can see that for example for Iranian space launch vehicles are based on North Korean design such as Safir based on Paektusan and Simorgh based on Unha-3.

Anyone that pays attention to rocket and missile development in Iran and North Korea should be aware of their cooperation in those two fields if somehow someone is unaware of that despite observing progress made by both countries and since they do it opens up question about on what else they cooperate with each other besides space launch vehicles and training of military officers together.

FJ33 minimum thrust is just 450kgf that is more than Ukrainian R95-300 / MS-400 and comparable to Russian TRDD-50 thus if Iran also cooperates with North Korea involving jet engines then 1500km range land attack cruise missile that North Korea tested in September may have well been FJ33 propelling and powering it as North Korea stated that it was propelled by turbofan jet engine.

North Korea doesn't seems to be interested much in refitting their air force. The possible reason is, that they realize, that attempts to produce ingenious combat aircraft would consume a lot of time and resources - and would not bring significant advantages. The aerial superiority of potential adversaries is just too great, and North Korea territory is too small to provide for sufficient aircraft dispersion.
North Korea is much larger than for example Taiwan that at most it is 390 kilometers from one end to another at most and shortest is 130 kilometers compared to North Korea being 700 and 300 kilometers respectively hence argument based on size is flimsy one.

So, they invested mostly in missiles, which are just more cost-efficient.
They are and there is no arguing about that yet they have limitations, ballistic missiles are useful against land targets are too cruise that can also target ships yet then aircraft carriers come into play as you may not have range to target them with cruise missiles unless you are Russia or China that even has anti-ship ballistic missiles along Iran that has short range ones.

At some point they will have to invest in designing and producing fighter jets.

So maybe Iran and North Korea besides space launch vehicles, rocket engines and ballistic missiles also dabble with jet engines.

TF-30 or RD-33 are best candidates for reverse engineering, specially former since Iranian F-14A Tomcats are still flying. lmfao
 
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DWG

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At some point they will have to invest in designing and producing fighter jets.

Why? The alleged Iranian projects to date have been somewhat wobbly. The furthest they've gotten in actual flyable hardware is minor changes to the F-5, which was already obsolescent back when the Shah was still in charge. If Iran needs competitive combat aircraft I'd expect them to buy from China, because (looking across the Gulf) there is no chance of Iran being able to build an aircraft, plus AAMs, indigenously that's capable of taking on late-model F-15s, F-16s, Rafales, and Typhoons using AIM-120.

But Iran is not North Korea. Iran can probably maintain an air force big enough to meet its needs as a regional power, as long as it does not use it offensively. North Korea, on the other hand, cannot build an air force large enough to be operationally useful. It can make a token effort, but faces being swatted aside on Day 1 by 50+ F-15Ks and 200+ F-16C/Ds all toting AIM-120 (minus however many have been converted to F-35s and KF-21 Boromaes - eventually 100+ F-35s between ROKAF and 7th AF, and 120 Boromaes), and that's assuming no reinforcements and no local CVBGs. Korea's only remotely modern fighters are the 25 Fulcrums, with perhaps 60 R-27 Alamos (according to SIPRI), and after that they're down to 45 MiG 23s with R-23 Apex, and several hundred MiG-21s with SRAAMs, mostly Atolls. All operating via GCI. It's a recipe for the Great DMZ Turkey Shoot.

To change the air balance of power, North Korea needs 300+ modern fighters with modern AAMs. And they're not building that from their current aerospace tech base, nor are they likely to be able to source it abroad given 1) cost and 2) willingness of major powers to be seen arming North Korea and engender US displeasure.

With that as a given, the question becomes why challenge ROKAF/7thAF in the air? The existing KPAF OOB is a sunk cost, but why throw good money after bad? Looking at Iraq as a model, the results from challenging overwhelming Western model AFs vs just hiding in your HASs are little different. In which case Kim may as well spend the money on something that may make a difference, such as NK's nuclear and missile programmes.
 

CV12Hornet

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That is the problem, you assume too much by going with reading between lines attitude to assert something I didn't.

It is loosely tied to fighter development, issue is how you try to portray it as direct when it is not as you miss my point or are disingenuous.

When I mentioned cruise missiles, it is not about fighter development as you jumped to that conclusion as it is about their defense industry and technology used that in current state would not be use of for development of fighter jet thus I stated contextually that should be very obvious to you that by continuing to further develop and advance related technologies that at some point will be of use for fighter jet.

Why don't we look at Iran for example, at first they developed manufacturing capacity to reproduce various small turbojet engines for cruise missiles and they continued to invest in capability to produce jet engines which resulted in them being able to domestically make J85-GE-21 turbojet engine that is much larger and more complex than Tri-60 series used in Iranian cruise missiles and target drones.

Iran has reverse engineered FJ33 that is downscaled older FJ44 thus Iran has option to invest resources in upscaling it to FJ44 then attempt to reach performance of FJ44-4 that is larger than and as heavy as J85-GE-21 while providing same dry thrust at the half fuel consumption.

Then finally they would need to develop afterburner component for it and considering it being turbofan and diameter of FJ44 that thrust from afterburning should be considerably greater than 22kN that J85-GE-21 is capable of producing, at least 30 kN seems reasonable.
*pinches nose*

So that's a yes, you're tying it into fighter development. Glad we've got that sorted out.

Anyway, the ability of Iran to reverse-engineer existing engines from full-scale samples, as would be the case for both the FJ33 and J85, does not mean that Iran has the expertise to upscale those engines, nor design entirely new ones.

Also, this is Iran. What the hell does this have to do with North Korea developing a fighter?

It is relevant as armament is one of factors involving development of fighter jets as you could have AAM with range of 300km at most against AWACS / AEW yet radar that is not competent enough to detect and track it to guide AAM to shot those down or you could have radar with range to detect and track yet don't have AAM that could reach those hence not fully utilizing potential of one or another.

Its absurd to write off AAM from fighter development process, might as well be fine with F-22 without BVRAAM.
Okay, but it still doesn't tie into the ability of North Korea to design and build an indigenous fighter.

I said JJ-6 that is two set trainer jet of J-6 and which Q-5 as there is Q-5B with Type 317 and 317A radar thus is a strike fighter.

Q-5 came around same time as J-7 and production of both ended around same time.

EL/M-2032 is used by by Thai and Chilean F-5E's and Grifo-F is being used in Brazilian and Singaporean F-5E's.

EL/M-2032 was also implemented for Chinese J-7G and had 60km range.

Grifo-7 radar with weight of 55kg implemented for Pakistani F-7P and had range 55km range..

Weight of Grifo-F in F-5E's is 87kg hence you can speculate how much larger and more powerful is compared to Grifo-7.

Same for EL/M-2032 between implementation in J-7 and F-5E's.

Elbit states maximum range for look up air target detection at most 120 miles that is 220 kilometers. Not specified on what platform.
What does any of this have to do with the ability of North Korea to develop an indigenous fighter?
Yes, without consideration of 2 engines compared 1 engine involving provisions to mount those 2 engines along there being 2 intakes.

Also we don't know if figures you cited are for J85-GE-21 and if you took those figures from Wikipedia where it is vague by not being specific which model of J85 is as maximum thrust is stated as 11-22 kN as 11kN is J85-GE-5 dry thrust and 22kN is J85-GE-21 afterburner.
Fair enough. This site has the data for the J85-GE-21: 35.15 g/kN/s (Pg. 16). The same site gives the RD-9F's SFC as 25.48 g/kN/s (Pg.12). So it looks like yes, the twin J85s would consume more fuel than the single RD-9.

That said, I still stand by my statement that the other advantages of the twin J85 layout at least match the higher fuel consumption.

And I still don't know how this ties into North Korea's ability or lack thereof to design their own jet fighters.
 

supergaleb

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Why? The alleged Iranian projects to date have been somewhat wobbly. The furthest they've gotten in actual flyable hardware is minor changes to the F-5, which was already obsolescent back when the Shah was still in charge. If Iran needs competitive combat aircraft I'd expect them to buy from China, because (looking across the Gulf) there is no chance of Iran being able to build an aircraft, plus AAMs, indigenously that's capable of taking on late-model F-15s, F-16s, Rafales, and Typhoons using AIM-120.
Iran has been refurbishing, modifying and modernizing various models of F-5 and same for J-85 turbojet engines while main obstacle to domestic production of new fighter jets based on F-5 was J85 engine which Iran has few years ago reverse engineered to the J85-GE-21 equivalent while there are differences such as different sound of the jet engine and lack of black smoke trail from exhaust which I have to note that in general it is indication of better fuel efficiency and maybe also greater thrust compared to original as was the case with Russia involving RD-33MK compared to original RD-33 that also introduced digital FADEC thus if we refer to Iranian claim of 4th generation avionics in Kowsar for which digital FADEC would fit right in as one of crucial features of a 4th generation fighter jet avionics.

Iran already produces domestically various AAMs such as AIM-54 Phoenix substitute Fakour-90 aka AIM-23B based on MIM-23 Hawk SAM derivative Shahin along elements of AIM-54 Phoenix such as active radar homing during terminal phase, range of the missile is 150km and weight is 450kg that is same weigh as 450kg bombs that F-5E can carry on each wing and centerline pylon thus it could use them if they or its derivatives receive upgrades to the radar as was case with F-14A when Iran developed F-14AM upgrade for it.

Iranian modernization program for F-14A the F-14AM is very likely same as F-14A electronics were upgraded when F-14D upgrade was designed as it was process of replacing analog processing with digital processing that vastly increased range of radar in every aspect.

Current priority for Iran is to refurbish and modernize its F-5's and F-14's fleet along production of ballistic and cruise missiles.

Iranians stated that Kowsar has unspecified Grifo based radar with stated maximum range of 93 kilometers and ability to engage two targets simultaneously while there is no information if Iranian made AIM-7 SARH is integrated as too AIM-23B SARH/ARH with Kowsar. Iran could later upgrade Kowsar by removing one or both guns and respective ammunition in order to allow for integration of heavier more powerful radar along more efficient and potentially more powerful turbofan engine if they pursue upscaling of FJ33 to FJ44 with aim of FJ-44-4M performance while FJ33 is essentially downscaled more advanced derivative of older FJ-44 series.

 
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kaiserd

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Don’t understand how Iran is being used as an example of how North Korea could/ should build a genuinely modern fighter aircraft when Iran, with a far more developed aviation industry, has not proven able to build its own genuinely modern fighter. Rebuilds of very small numbers of F-5s with different tails that haven’t genuinely entered service doesn’t really count.

Similarly repeating Iranian claims of great avionic developments that don’t appear to be reflected in actual in-service aircraft has limited credibility and very limited relevance to North Korea.

And clams around the RD-9 engine are just perplexing. It appears to amount to great claims being being made for a 21st century re-hash of the Nanchang J-12, a class of aircraft the Chinese at the height of the Cultural Revolution insanity still had the sense to abandon in favour of copies of early model MIG-21s.
 
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supergaleb

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I won't even bother to reply on this subject due to extent of people in here being disingenuous along moderators removing my replies or editing out my answers from my replies as for North Korean aviation industry you can look at documentary involving event held one day after 76th anniversary of foundation of Workers Party of Korea when there was show floor for various new military hardware.

Some previously unseen ballistic missile, cruise missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles, air to air missiles, precision sniper rifles and anti materiel rifles and so forth. So a lot of things previously unseen we see glimpse of in it.
 

royabulgaf

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I didn't watch the video, and I can't comment on the rockets. However, you can get all the UAVs you want at HobbyAmerica, and back in the day Afghans in the boonies were making AK-47 knockoffs fromcar parts.
 

_Del_

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It's possible, but unlikely, that NK could put together a serviceable tactical fighter.
Engines would be the hardest part to produce locally, but someone is already selling them RD-33's and parts thereof for the MiG-29 fleet. Conceivably, something like the JF-17 would possible if NK invested oodles of dollars/won and engineering effort.
But the bigger question is why? They could probably procure JF-17's for much cheaper than developing its own aircraft, and it wouldn't be markedly more capable than the Fulcrums.
Also, North Korea's entire defense strategy is built around nuclear deterrence, first, and a hedge that their neighbours in Beijing would rather not see a united Korean state on its own border. Their military is also is part of a decades long strategy to make a lot of noise, launch rockets near or over its neighbours, and be generally belligerent because as a general rule, the democratic and capitalist neighbours prefer sending them aid packages to shut them up than endure another crisis/tantrum.
Even with a locally developed F-15's with a magic wand, there is no doubt who would win a conventional conflict with the South, nevermind the US. A waste of money and effort, imo.
If NK was actually going to spend in aerospace industrial efforts, it would be something that aligns with their other efforts and goals. Perhaps a strike aircraft, a local Q-5, or even a crude medium bomber like an H-6 analogue (Or even more likely more ballistic missiles).
You can fly a conventional/nuclear-capable bomber formation to strut and possibly intimidate your neighbours and leverage that for concessions. A bomber fleet potential nuclear deterrent effect, even if dubious. An indigenous air superiority fighter like an F-5 doesn't really do either of those things well.

But again, that's a lot of money they don't have-- cheaper by far to collect second-hand leftovers by hook or crook.
 

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