US Air Force F-35A Lightning II fighters arrived in South Korea for a 10-day exercise. This has been reported Global Flight.
According to the United States Forces in Korea (USFK), six fifth-generation strike fighters flew from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska to the Republic of Korea (ROK). This is the first publicly approved distribution since 2017.
“While in the Republic of Korea, the U.S. Air Force plans to operate and fly several different U.S. and ROK aircraft, including South Korean F-35s,” USFK said in a statement.
USFK added that the military exercise will provide an opportunity for maintenance activities, as well as familiarization and routine training flights, to improve the operational capability of the two air forces on and around the Korean Peninsula.
Military exercises between the United States and the Republic of Korea were scaled back after a 2017 diplomatic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump.
In May, current US President Joe Biden and his Republic of Korea colleague Yoon Seok Yeol announced their readiness to resume training activities after a diplomatic meeting in South Korea.
The current exercise is designed to demonstrate the alliance’s “strong deterrence and common defensive stance”. [США — Южная Корея]South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The United States and South Korea signed a mutual defense agreement after the signing of an armistice involving the United States, China and the United Nations in the North-South Peninsula War in 1954.
Since then, the two Koreas are technically at war, and both sides share the stated goal of reunification.
Both China and North Korea have been critical of the US military presence in the region, and officials in the North have said recently that the US is trying to establish a multilateral Indo-Pacific mutual defense organization similar to NATO’s role in Europe.
Contrary to the NATO structure, in Asia the US currently maintains a number of bilateral defense agreements with regional allies, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Formerly American company Lockheed Martin received An additional contract totaling $69.3 million for the modernization of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-16C/D Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter squadron.
According to the publication, the aircraft will be replaced by a friend-foe identification system and Link-16 data transmission modules. In total, 164 F-16 aircraft of five different modifications will undergo modernization.