A United States Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) was forced to make an emergency landing during the joint US/South Korean exercises in March 2011. While the net result was no loss of life and or property damage, the technological advances by North Korea are being overlooked by our government and media.
What’s next from North Korea according to the Korean Times’ report from South Korea’s defense ministry?
The report said that the North could soon begin developing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs that can damage high-tech defense systems such as radars and communication networks.
“We don’t have any confirmed intelligence, but given the rate of the North’s development of new electronic devices and EMP development in other countries, it’s possible that North Korea will also develop (EMP bombs),” the report said.
When North Korea detonates its first EMP, we will not have to wait six months to read about it in an obscure media outlet.
North Korea, East Asia’s most annoying Stalinist dictatorship, tends to get a little cranky when its neighbor to the South drills with the American military. Usually, that means Pyongyang using its GPS jammers to try and throw a wrench in the exercise. Now, South Korea’s military says the North’s electronic interference has done more than just bug folks trying to get satellite-guided directions to their favorite bibimbap spot. North Korea’s jamming pushed an American military aircraft out of the skies.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo reported Friday that North Korea’s GPS jamming forced an American spy plane to make an emergency landing during joint U.S.-South Korean exercise in March. The incident took place during the Key Resolve-Foal Eagle exercise, and was revealed by a South Korean Defense Ministry report.
“If the report is accurate, the [North Koreans] may have acquired a more powerful GPS jammer, capable of affecting navigation systems over a wider area, (potentially) impacting a host of activities, from intelligence collection to precision weapons applications,” one former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer notes.
The plane that made the emergency landing was reportedly an Army RC-7B ARL (Airborne Reconnaissance Low), a modified DeHavilland DHC-7 filled with reconnaissance gear. The plane’s approximately eight hour duration and ability to fly low and slow make it a handy espionage platform. In this configuration, RC-7B is equipped with a range of intelligence kit, from a forward-looking infrared radar to a daylight imaging system. It’s also got a synthetic aperture radar and wide area moving target indicator that track vehicles and people in motion. The plane carries communications intelligence equipment, too.