View Full Version : U.S. stealth jets deployed to South Korea

05-29-2005, 04:42 PM

Friday May 27, 04:01 AM

U.S. stealth jets deployed to South Korea

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force has ordered 15 of its F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter jets to South Korea as tensions increase on the peninsula with the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test.

The radar-evading planes began flying from Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico to U.S. air bases in South Korea this week in a deployment expected to last four months, a Holloman spokesman said on Thursday.

About 250 airmen from the U.S. 49th Fighter Wing will accompany the aircraft, the Air Force said in a statement.

The Holloman spokesman said the F-117A deployment was not linked to rising tensions in the region, but U.S. officials have warned that North Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon.

In February, the reclusive state said it possessed nuclear weapons and it was withdrawing from six-nation talks aimed at ending its atomic ambitions.

The Air Force said the deployment "is part of an ongoing measure to maintain a credible deterrent posture and presence in the region."

Last summer, about two dozen of the stealth fighters were sent to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.

The F-117A Nighthawk makes use of stealth technology "to penetrate deep into enemy air space to deliver satellite and laser-guided munitions onto time sensitive, high value targets," the Air Force statement said.