South Korea’s Air Force holds large-scale combat exercise

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The Republic of Korea Air Force KAI FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft

The South Korea’s Air Force is currently conducting a large-scale combat exercise aimed at striking North Korea’s key nuclear and missile facilities.

That was reported by The Korea Times.

Soaring Eagle, a week-long drill that began last Friday, involves 50 aircraft including F-15Ks, KF-16s and FA-50s fighter jets as well as 500 troops.

This is taking place in conjunction with the joint annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises by South Korea and the United States, which are aimed at improving the combined forces’ operation and combat capabilities to deter threats from the North.

“The Soaring Eagle exercise is designed to practice the Air Force’s readiness against possible provocations from North Korea and counterattack operations,” the Air Force said in a statement, Monday.

“By carrying out the exercise in tandem with Key Resolve, we expect the ROK Air Force to enhance its combat capability in the event of war.”

During a drill scheduled for Thursday, the Air Force will apply the concept of the Kill Chain preemptive strike system that the military is planning to establish in the early 2020s.

“Thursday’s drill will focus on strengthening our ability to strike the enemy’s core facilities and its time-sensitive targets (TSTs) including missiles,” the Air Force said.

The drills are taking place amid heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea fired four ballistic missiles, March 6, 22 days after it fired a new intermediate-range ballistic missile.

There also has been speculation that Pyongyang will conduct another major provocation such as a sixth nuclear test or launching an intercontinental ballistic missile aimed at the U.S. mainland.

The Air Force noted that Soaring Eagle has been taking place twice a year since 2008, adding that the exercise, together with ongoing joint military drills with the U.S., is expected to further improve anti-North Korea combat readiness.

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