Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Well, Now, Isn't this Lovely?

Joseph in IL sends in this lovely little story. I know I'm going to sleep better tonight.

Panama finds MiG fighter jets on North Korean arms ship
COLON, Panama (Reuters) - Panamanian investigators unloading the cargo of a seized North Korean ship that carried arms from Cuba have found the two MiG-21 fighter jets the Cuban government had said were on board, the government said on Sunday.

Alongside the two supersonic planes, originally produced by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s, officials found two missile radar systems on board the Chong Chon Gang, President Ricardo Martinelli told reporters in the Atlantic port of Colon.
Several things come to mind: First off, Cuba has spare MiGs and missile radar systems to be sending to North Korea? Really? I hope this is true, and not a re-start of the Cold War and the Soviets aren't pulling the strings here. I mean, Russia has Vladimir Putin, who wrestles bears for fun while shooting belt-fed machine guns. We have President Mom Jeans with his bike helmet. I'm not sure I want to see the result of this confrontation.

Secondly, they were hiding jet fighters under sugar? Who did they think they were dealing with, Homer Simpson?



Lastly, I think what scares me most about this whole thing is that we have a communist nation off the coast of Florida that is attempting to supply North Korea with fighter planes. North Korea, a nation that has threatened to use nuclear weapons against us, has a strict arms embargo against it because of their ongoing search for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver the. A sworn enemy of the United States is working with another sworn enemy of the United States to illegally transfer arms between them. That should scare you. It scares me.

Meanwhile, the only story on the news is about the royal baby...

That is all.

10 comments:

Wolfman said...

How about al-quaida funnelling heroin through the drug cartels, destablizing (further) the US's fragile southern border while learning the smuggling routes into and out of the country? Russia quietly moving arms to NK through Cuba, supporting Iran and Syria (with a trickle down to hardliners aligned with both countries), while President, um, uh, Mom jeans ducks about saying 'how sorry the US is for being awesome- don't worry, um, uh, we are... Taking steps to, uh, fix that, that, um, situation.' In the meantime, we are completely capable of tearing the place asunder all by our lonesome, thankyouverymuch. I stopped worrying about things a long time ago; I'd get nothing done otherwise, there's too much.

Old NFO said...

Smuggling has been going on as long as there have been boats... Nothing changes except the merchandise and the direction... :-(

Dave H said...

Cuba probably needs the money more than it needs the MiGs. A pair of fighters isn't going to do much but piss off most of Cuba's immediate neighbors. Although it's possible the planes came from Russia. Recently, I mean. But I'm not sure what benefit Russia gets from arming North Korea, unless it's to tweak China's nose.

Mike W. said...

If a Republican were President you'd be hearing a lot more about this....

Greg in Allston said...

The principle of the smuggling is bothersome but I wouldn't lose too much sleep over the merchandise. The Mig-21's and the radars are at best antiques. What credible threat today is flying 1950's technology?

notDilbert said...

Have the Nork's run out of parts for their fleet of Fighter Aircraft?


So when will Obama be sending more F4's to South Korea to counter the smuggling and escalation Fighter technology??

Anonymous said...

it was a mig 21,from the korean era!! I'm really worried about those!

Daniel in Brookline said...

I don't know, Jay. A cage match between Bear-Chest Putin (you gotta be Putin me on) and President Mom Jeans? That sounds like Pay-Per-View material to me. Watching the press tie themselves into knots to portray President Golf Ball favorably would be fun, too.

Then, when Bam-Bam is on the ropes, Biden would fire his shotgun in the air to end the fight, so no worries...

Geodkyt said...

Anymouse -- MiG-21 is not Korean War vintage. It wasn't even in production until 1959. . . and it stayed in production until 1985 because it was still doing the job (with upgrades). Hell, North Korea is still operating over 100 of them -- as well as a few European nations.

Sure, it's short legged (like most Soviet interceptors; there are logical technical reasons why they went for short-legged fighters I won't go into here -- suffice it to say that would be a blog post of its own). But it's got plenty of range for the Korean Peninsula and Sea of Japan.

Sure, it's old. It started off as a Gen 2 fighter, and ended it's production run as a Gen 3 fighter. But upgrades available from several sources (including Romania, russia, and Israel) can turn it into a credible Gen 3.5 fighter.

Sure it's small (which contributes to it's short range and low payload). It's also hard to see, hard to hit, and highly manueverable. . . due in part to it's size and thrust to weight ratio.

Plus, the design is VERY forgiving of undertrained pilots at the margins of the envelope.

How long would they last against South Korean fighters? Not long against their F-16s and F-15s, sure. But ROKAF still operates F-4s, F-5s, and even the FA-50 multirole fighter/trainer (which is NOT in wide service yet, AFAIK) would have difficulty with a late model upgraded MiG-21 in capable hands.

However, I think the scariest thing the NORKs could do with their MiG-21 fleet is turn them into nuclear cruise missiles, using OTS "dual use" technology. Mach 2 sprinters, highly manueverable and capable of low level speed runs, and a one-way range in excess of 750 miles. More if they add drop tanks to the system.

That's conceivably most of Japan (including Tokyo), and ALL of South Korea.

Even as conventional warhead cruise missiles, they are VERY credible ship killers.

As good a cruise missile as current Russian tech (export grade) cruise missiles? No, but still credible threats.

Stretch said...

All our enemies smell weakness and fear.