Monday, May 23, 2022

South Korea performs first F-35 elephant walk

The South Korea’s Air Force has performed an ‘elephant walk’ training with 28 F-35A fighter planes on Mar. 25, a day after North Korea test-fired an Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Seoul’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that Defense Minister Suh Wook oversaw an “elephant walk” formation training earlier on Friday at an unspecified air base.

In the exercise, fully armed military aircraft taxi in close formation right before takeoff, a method often used in emergencies that need a lot of aircraft to take off at once.

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Suh was on site supervising and monitoring the drill, which aimed to verify South Korea’s military readiness in light of the recent series of provocations by the North, including its test-launch of a new ICBM the previous day.

The exercise marked the first major show of military might under the Moon Jae-in administration.

The training marked the first major mobilization of the stealth fighters after the Air Force completed the deployment of 40 F-35As in January.

The training is part of efforts to highlight South Korea’s deterrence capabilities after Pyongyang test-fired what it claims to be the Hwasong-17 ICBM on Thursday in its 12th known show of force this year.

Soon after the missile launch, South Korea’s armed forces also conducted a joint live-fire exercise involving key missiles, like a Hyunmoo-2 ground-to-ground missile and two JDAM air-to-surface missiles. (Yonhap)

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About this Author

Min Cheol Gu
Gu Min-Chul is a defense reporter, covering the Korean defense industrial base and all related issues.

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