Since the early 1950s, the heavily industrialised nation of South Korea has seen steady growth and is now the world’s seventh-largest exporter and 11th-largest economy overall. As the Cold War on the Korean peninsula gathered momentum, the development of the Republic of Korea Air Force became one of the nation’s top priorities. While initially dependent on the United States for its aircraft, Korea’s aviation industry has matured rapidly, and the ROKAF’s use of indigenously manufactured equipment is on the rise.
Modern South Korean Air Power provides a detailed look at the aircraft and armament, as well as the organisation and the modernisation process of the ROKAF. The air arm has invested heavily in its early warning and intelligence-gathering capability to guard against the unpredictability of its northern neighbour.
A territorial dispute with long-standing rival Japan, as well as incursions into its airspace by both China and Russia, have fuelled the need to transform the ROKAF into a technologically superior force.
In its ongoing efforts to maintain its edge, the ROKAF has introduced fifth-generation stealth fighters while at the same time still making effective use of obsolete biplanes. It is this wide variety of aircraft and helicopters that make this air arm one of a kind.