Thursday, February 2, 2012

Photo: Kim Jong-Un visits KPAF MiG-29 unit

Staying on the Korean Peninsula, the recent leadership succession in North Korea has brought about a mini-flood (by North Korean standards) of information and imagery on the Hermit Kingdom's armed forces. The flood has continued, with what must surely be the clearest image of a Korean People's Air Force (KPAF) MiG-29 interceptor to date.

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The aircraft, a 9.12B variant, serves as a backdrop to a posed group photo of the "Great Successor" Kim Jong-Un alongside KPAF personnel. This is one of a number of photos released by North Korea's state-controlled news agency of an official visit to an unnamed KPAF airbase. Video of the visit shown on North Korean TV reportedly shows Su-25s in some scenes, so the base is likely to be Sunchon, southwest of North Korea's capital Pyongyang since it is the only KPAF base operating both types.

No Bort number can be discerned from the photo, being obscured by the personnel in the group shot, coupled with the reflection from the sun on the side of the MiG's intake where the number is usually seen.

The camouflage seems to be typical of the KPAF's MiG-29 fleet seen so far, a green over blue scheme, both in a deep shade very similar to that seen on the standard Soviet Air Force summer schemes of World War II. Another point worth noting is the brown leather flight suit donned by the pilot in the photo. Definitely old-school!

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