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Stealth Warplanes Sent to Korea

Posted March. 12, 2003 22:18,   


More than six F-117A Stealth warplanes and twenty F-15E fighters are currently being sent to South Korea to join the ongoing “Foal Eagle” exercises held by the United States and South Korea, announced the US Department of Defense and US Command in South Korea yesterday.

This will be the second deployment of Stealth warplanes to the Korean Peninsula. Washington last sent the warplanes to the peninsula to join the ROK-US joint military exercise "Team Spirit" in 1993 when the first nuclear crisis reached its pinnacle in the region.

The Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday that it was sending up to six F-117A Stealth warplanes to South Korea this week as part of the joint exercises, which will continue until April 2. Thus, the warplanes will reportedly leave an air force base in New Mexico, USA, and arrive at Kunsan Air Force Base in South Korea.

US military officials said that F-15E would also be deployed to an unidentified air base in South Korea in the near future, and the deployment was not connected to the current regional situation. They stressed that the dispatch was part of a usual exercise.

"It is true that Washington will send Stealth bombers here as part of the military exercises,” Prime Minister Goh Gun told reporters yesterday. “It is, however, just to prepare for various situations that could possibly happen in the region in the wake of the upcoming war with Iraq. It has nothing to do with, if any, a future bombing on North Korea`s nuclear facilities in Yongbyon."

Stealth technology was developed by the US company Lockheed Martin in the early 1980s. Then, after its debut in the `89 US invasion of Panama, it played a key role in the first Gulf War in 1991. Remarkably, it was able to evade the enemy`s radar due to the special coating on it. The plane can fly at a speed of mach 0.82.

Flying low, stealth warplanes are able to destroy enemy positions and command centers with precision radar-guided bombs.

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