Think B-2 Bombers and F-16s.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is ideally suited to the role. Capable of flying for more than thirty-four hours, Global Hawk could fly from airfields as far away as Guam, spend half a day over North Korea, and go home again—freeing up tarmac space in closer air facilities. Global Hawk’s ability to conduct surveillance day or night is a major plus and its unblinking gaze will be invaluable in tracking enemy movements. Another less well known feature that will be important over North Korea: Global Hawk’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) will provide a secure communications link between troops on the ground and close air support aircraft.
In any conflict in the skies over North Korea, the U.S. Air Force will likely follow a familiar pattern. First, it will need to sweep the skies of enemy fighters—not a difficult prospect considering the decrepit state of the North Korean air force. Concurrent with that will be a campaign to shut down the country’s command and control and air defense systems, and finally a close air support and interdiction campaign designed to support friendly forces and locate and destroy enemy ground forces. Here are five weapons systems the air force would need for these missions in the next war in North Korea.
B-2 Spirit Bomber
North Korea’s air defenses are dense but outdated, relying on anti-aircraft guns and, with the exception of a S-300 long range SAM knockoff, fairly obsolete. Despite their obsolescence, most aircraft would need careful planning to avoid being shot down.
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