Sunday, November 27, 2022

Korea Air Force denies ‘link’ between THAAD anti-missile system and F-15K crash

The Republic of Korea Air Force officials has denied a Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea claim that crash of an F-15K fighter jet in April last year relates THAAD anti-missile system.

The crash of an F-15K fighter jet in April last year was due in part to a lack of safety tests for a no-fly zone designated over a region where a U.S. anti-missile defense system had been deployed, a ruling party lawmaker claimed Tuesday.

According to the Korea Times, Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said the F-15K fighter jet crashed because a five-kilometer radius the no-fly zone diminished the scope of the aircraft’s flight area.

At the time, the Air Force attributed the crash of the nation’s top combat jet to pilot error. Two airmen on board died in the accident in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province.


Later Air Force claims ‘no link’ between anti-missile system and plane crash.

The Air Force flatly denied the argument, saying the case has been blown out of proportion.

“Relying on their judgment, pilots can fly countless routes except for restricted areas whose radius is only five kilometers. So saying the reduced route got in the way of their flight path is nothing more than an exaggeration,” an Air Force spokesman said.

“The Air Force wants to make it clear again that it has not found any links between the accident and the THAAD base while carrying out investigations.”

The Air Force concluded the investigation by attributing the pilot’s confusion as the key reason behind the crash. According to the military, those on board failed to recognize that the aircraft was diving into the mountain while focusing on securing a safe distance from another jet in front.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.