Among the documents were blueprints for the wing design of the twin-engine, supersonic F-15, police told Reuters. Korea Aerospace Industries builds the Eagle’s wings under contract with Boeing, the No. 2 U.S. defense firm. Boeing has described KAI as a “valued supplier” (PDF).The U.S. Air Force operates hundreds of F-15s. Undefeated in air combat since its debut in the early 1970s, the Eagle is still America’s main air-to-air fighter. South Korea acquired 61 F-15s starting in 2005.Although the F-15’s basic design is, by now, more than 50 years old, the Eagle is still leaps and bounds more sophisticated than any warplane North Korea’s tiny, impoverished air force possesses.While Pyongyang manages to produce its own firearms, artillery, armored vehicles, and warships, it’s never quite mastered the delicate art of designing and manufacturing military aircraft. The Korean People’s Air Force operates hundreds of jet fighters, but most of them are single-engine MiG-21s that North Korea bought from the Soviet Union in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s and has maintained ever since.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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