The Republic of Korea Air Force has begun making strides in the realm of modernization - even undertaking a local 5th Generation Fighter program.
POWER INDEX SCORE
(Ranked 12 of 53)
Today, the South China Sea region of the world is an undeniable hotspot and South Korea finds itself in the thick of uncertainty. A growing Chinese military presence coupled with an unpredictable neightbor to the north - North Korea - means that its armed services must keep pace with developments. As such, its air service, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), is forced to field an all-modern collection of aircraft to fullfill the traditional roles of combat, rotorcraft, training, and special mission.
Leading the inventory are 466 total fighter aircraft, making up 52% of total force strength, comprised of several American-originated, Cold War-era players as well as more modern platforms. The F-5E 'Tiger II' leads the way followed by the Korean interpretation of the American Lockheed F-16 'Fighting Falcon' - the KF-16. Beyond this is the venerable F-4E 'Phantom II', modernized for modern threats, and the homegrown FA-50 Light Strike / Advanced Jet Trainer platform. The F-15K serves as the South Korean equivalent of the USAF's F-15E 'Strike Eagle' airborne warrior. On-order in quantity is the highly-anticipated Lockheed Martin F-35A 'Lightning II' 5th Generation Strike Fighter which will provide the ROKAF with a considerable advantage over the North.
The rotorcraft force accounts for just 8% of total inventory and is headlined by a balance of HH-60P helos with the nimble, scout-minded MD500 series. The CH-47 supplies a heavy-haul capability and the Kamov Ka-32 a submarine deterrent. Traditional transports include the CN-235 and twin models of the C-130 'Hercules'. The service's training arm includes several indigenous projects such as the KT-1, TA-50, and KT-100. Rounding out the fleet are trainer forms of in-service fighter types including the F-16D, F-5F, and F-35A.NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
445 Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
623 Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
668 Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
712 Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.