Panama Intercepts Weapons on North Korean Ship in Canal

kwaigonegin

Colonel
Well, we all new that the "military equipment to be repaired," was a falsehood to begin with.

This stuff was buried under 10,000 tons of sugar and not on the manifest. It was hidden.

The Migs and the engines are not in need of repair.

Now, two aircraft with nine engines and a few anti-air missile systems are not a huge help to North Korea, so you have to ask yourself why they would risk it?

Maybe I was a test run to see if they could get away with it, and then send more weapons later?

Maybe they were planning to sell them to someone else from North Korea? Who knows?
Even the PDRK must know a couple of MiG21s even in excellent shape will add little operational or tactical value to their AF. Against SK, Japan etc a couple of Mig-21s might as well be paper airplanes.
The SAMs depending on the type can at least play a defensive role but the fighters seem odd especially they are much larger and much more difficult to stash.
The most logical answer is probably the 'deal' came with the sugar as in if you want sugar you have to buy these too. Who knows? when you have two of the most secretive and 'crazy' heads of state making deals nothing should be surprising.
For the sake of the NK people I hope they at least let the sugar through since that portion is at least legit.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
It still does not make sense. The fighters were in good shape if the Castros wanted to clean out the hangers why send the good stuff? The Cuban revolutionary Air force is something like two hundred fifty fighters the known top gun are a half dozen to a dozen Mig29 series jets. The second gun are Mig23 the backbone of the force is the Mig21. We have not seen any arms sales between the Russians and the Cubans for decades and the Chinese also seem to be leaving Cuba's military alone. The Cuban navy has to a large degree ceased to exist turning from a respectable Warsaw pact navy to a brown water coast guard about the only two that might still be able to have put up.a fight would have been the air force and the Army. Now why would you give up two of your most precious resources along with critical engines as a door prize? Is Raul Castro airing a infomercial?
" are your peoples hungry? Want some thing sweet to push the bad taste of a public execution out of your mouth? Well then call the Castro brothers Sugarcane plantation! We here in Havana grow the most primo sugar in all the dictatorial nations! The taste of our sugar will leave your enslaved masses to begging for more oppression! But wait there is more if you act now for this limited time offer for every 100 tones sold we will throw in two low mileage Mig21 fishbeds,fifteen spare engines and a assortment of surface to air missiles! All for (x) number of payments of 19.99! Operators are standing by! Sorry no COD."

The sugar seems realistic but the north Koreans have mig21 and SAMs.
I am going with Jeffs theory. The question is who would be the buyer? How about the Syrian rebels? Perhaps the Turks or the Saudis are footing the bill to arm them with aircraft to they can damage Assad's air force?
 
Last edited:

MwRYum

Captain
The million dollar question now is who'd want 2 antique MiG-21 airframe with 15 operable engines, plus a few SA-2 missiles. Thing is N.Korea not necessary to be the final destination of those stuff, and those things are nothing more than show piece in the 21st century battlefield, better to melt them back to metal ingots instead or place in a museum.

Well if the engines are working I can understand they still have a purpose to N.Korea, but other than keeping their own MiG-21 in operation, it's next to useless in the face of vastly superior US (and its allies) weaponry. Neither it'd make sense to have those SA-2, because they're way too outdated for any practical value.

Could it be just some super rich look for exotic toys? I've heard buying ex-military aircraft was a fad in that circle but that was more than a decade ago.

Someone said it could be destined for Syria...I highly doubt that, first of all an operational airfield (not to mention an operational air force) is very intensive affair be it manpower or other wise, however the insurgents are...well, they are experts in lobbing off heads and eating hearts raw, but operate an airfield? If so their backers might as well send in their own men to do the man's job so to speak, but to directly involve in such scale would mark a major change of policy on their part, and if one was ever captured dead or alive will give Assad a massive field day.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
The million dollar question now is who'd want 2 antique MiG-21 airframe with 15 operable engines, plus a few SA-2 missiles. Thing is N.Korea not necessary to be the final destination of those stuff, and those things are nothing more than show piece in the 21st century battlefield, better to melt them back to metal ingots instead or place in a museum.

Well if the engines are working I can understand they still have a purpose to N.Korea, but other than keeping their own MiG-21 in operation, it's next to useless in the face of vastly superior US (and its allies) weaponry. Neither it'd make sense to have those SA-2, because they're way too outdated for any practical value.

Could it be just some super rich look for exotic toys? I've heard buying ex-military aircraft was a fad in that circle but that was more than a decade ago.

Someone said it could be destined for Syria...I highly doubt that, first of all an operational airfield (not to mention an operational air force) is very intensive affair be it manpower or other wise, however the insurgents are...well, they are experts in lobbing off heads and eating hearts raw, but operate an airfield? If so their backers might as well send in their own men to do the man's job so to speak, but to directly involve in such scale would mark a major change of policy on their part, and if one was ever captured dead or alive will give Assad a massive field day.
civilian ownership is legal for former military aircraft but buying them does not require subterfuge there are companies that sell them on the open market.
north Korea need not apply. Also the uber rich don't need SAMs.

second in the Libyan campaign. The rebels built a small air force around a single air field a few defector pilots and mig21s. Before that in multiple African wars Mig21s were flown by renal forces and mercenaries. Assad has a air force but portions of Syria are out of his control the rebels no doubt still have defectors from the SSA.
 

Pointblank

Senior Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
The million dollar question now is who'd want 2 antique MiG-21 airframe with 15 operable engines, plus a few SA-2 missiles. Thing is N.Korea not necessary to be the final destination of those stuff, and those things are nothing more than show piece in the 21st century battlefield, better to melt them back to metal ingots instead or place in a museum.

Well if the engines are working I can understand they still have a purpose to N.Korea, but other than keeping their own MiG-21 in operation, it's next to useless in the face of vastly superior US (and its allies) weaponry. Neither it'd make sense to have those SA-2, because they're way too outdated for any practical value.

Could it be just some super rich look for exotic toys? I've heard buying ex-military aircraft was a fad in that circle but that was more than a decade ago.

Someone said it could be destined for Syria...I highly doubt that, first of all an operational airfield (not to mention an operational air force) is very intensive affair be it manpower or other wise, however the insurgents are...well, they are experts in lobbing off heads and eating hearts raw, but operate an airfield? If so their backers might as well send in their own men to do the man's job so to speak, but to directly involve in such scale would mark a major change of policy on their part, and if one was ever captured dead or alive will give Assad a massive field day.
The airframes could be taken apart and salvaged for spare parts and reverse engineering, especially if the Cuban aircraft had systems of particular interest to the North Koreans. Otherwise, having airframes to cannibalize from will help readiness of the North Korean Air Force.

Also, the SA-2 missile system has had a series of upgrades with various users, so depending on what was done to the Cuban SA-2's, they could also be of technical interest with the North Koreans.
 
Top