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An air war in Korea would be tougher than Mideast fights, general says

By tom On Thursday, January 04 th, 2018 · no Comments · In And more news stories

WASHINGTON – If the U.S. goes to war against North Korea, it would face a vastly tougher challenge in the air that it did in any recent conflicts, a top Air Force general said Thursday.

North Korea maintains a more highly developed air defense system than the U.S. faced in the Middle East, said Lt. Gen. Mark Nowland, deputy chief of staff for Operations. He demurred to provide specifics or characterize the differences, or answer the question of: “Are we ready to fight today?”

According to previous reports, North Korea has a dense air defense system that includes a mix of old Soviet surface-to-air missiles, including the S-75, S-125, S-200 and Kvadrat; robust low-altitude air defenses wth large numbers of license-produced and indigenous man-portable air defenses and thousands of 23-57mm anti-aircraft artillery — all in a well-coordinated air defense system.

According to previous reports, North Korea has a dense air defense system that includes a mix of old Soviet surface-to-air missiles, including the S-75, S-125, S-200 and Kvadrat; robust low-altitude air defenses wth large numbers of license-produced and indigenous man-portable air defenses and thousands of 23-57mm anti-aircraft artillery — all in a well-coordinated air defense system.

Nowland appeared along with Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson, deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, on a panel regarding threats to U.S. air supremacy. The event was sponsored by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

His comments about North Korea came during a question period following the formal presentation.

During the formal presentation, it was noted that the last time the U.S. had to battle for air superiority was during the Korean conflict of 1950 to 1953. That was the first war in which jet aircraft dominated air and ground combat operations and also the first war in which the airmen of the U.S. Air Force fought as an independent military service.

Since then, the U.S has held a vise grip on controlling the air battle space, a dominance both generals said is rapidly slipping away.

Both generals stressed that the Defense Department is in full support of the State Department’s diplomatic efforts toward North Korea, both to lower overall tensions and check North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities.

An air war in Korea would have an impact elsewhere, however. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, decried the dwindling state of U.S. air dominance and noted the paucity of worldwide punch that can be delivered today.

“We cannot do more than one regional conflict at a time.”