Aircraft Reported in Service

with the North Korean Air Force

Aero L-39C Albatros

A dozen Aero L-39C Albatros advanced training jet aircraft were reportedly delivered before 1990. If so, these L-39Cs were former Soviet Air Force aircraft. If any L-39C’s indeed are operated by the DPRKAF, they are most likely operated by the Kimchaek Air Academy, based at Chongjin.

Bell P-63C Kingcobra Fred

At least one example of the P-63 was reportedly delivered prior to 1950. However, this remains unconfirmed.

Beriev MBR-2 Mote

A few of these 1930s flying boats are said to have been delivered in 1951. Not confirmed. Amazingly, an MBR-2 was reported to have strafed Kimpo airfield during the early hours of 16 June 1951.

Ilyushin Il-2m3 Stormovik Bark

Examples of the famed Il-2 Stormovik are said to have been delivered in 1948. Most likely this is a misidentification with the later Ilyushin Il-10 Beast.

Ilyushin Il-12 Coach

No less than 10 of these twin-engine transports are said to have entered service in 1951, being withdrawn in 1991. Not confirmed. However, one Il-12 was shot down on the last day of open hostilities, June 27, 1953. It is probable that this particular Il-12 belonged to a Russian unit.

KAAI 2K-1

Some of these Soviet primary gliders were reportedly one of the first non-Japanese aircraft to enter service in 1945/46. Not confirmed.

Lavochkin La-7 Fin

An unknown quantity of La-7s was reportedly supplied to North Korea. On June 26, 1950, two DPRKAF fighters identified as La-7s reportedly made firing passes on two 68th FS F-82 Twin Mustangs. No combat ensued, as the American pilots were under orders to “keep a low profile.” However, the following day, on June 27, two La-7s was claimed as shot down by Maj J W Little of the 339th (AW)S, and 1st Lt ‘Chalky’ Moran of the 68th (AW)S, both flying F-82 Twin Mustangs. A third La-7 was claimed two days later, on June 29, by 1st Lt W T Norris of the 9th FBS. Presumably, this is a misidentification with the improved Lavochkin La-9/-11 series.

Lavochkin La-7UTI

Two two-seat conversion trainers said to have entered service in 1950. Not confirmed.

Lavochkin La-15 Fantail

An early Soviet jet fighter, a number of La-15s are said to have been delivered to the DRPKAF. Unlikely.

Maeda Ku-10

A few of these gliders were reportedly left behind by the Japanese. Unconfirmed.

Mil Mi-14PL Haze-A

A few reportedly delivered in 1989. Unconfirmed.

PZL 104 Wilga

Some said to have been delivered in the early 1970s. Unconfirmed.

Sukhoi Su-20 Fitter-C

Some Su-20 close support aircraft is said to have reached North Korea. Not confirmed.

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker

Twenty reported in service in 1997, unlikely.

Tupolev Tu-2 Bat

Several Tu-2 light bombers were reportedly supplied before 1950. However, it is possible that the Tu-2’s all belonged to the Chinese PLAAF. Nine Tu-2s were shot down by US fighters during the war, eight of which on November 30, 1951. Thirty-five said to have been delivered in 1950, being withdrawn from use in 1968. Some said to have remained in service as late as 1958. Not confirmed.

Yakovlev Yak-3

No less than 70 said to have been received, beginning in 1948. Most likely a mis-identification with the Yak-9.

Yakovlev Yak-7B

Ten said to have been delivered for use as fighter trainers. Not confirmed.

Yakovlev Yak-11 Moose

One Yak-11 was claimed as shot down on 27 June 1950. No concrete information exists on Yak-11 basic trainers in North Korean service. It is possible that some Yak-11s were delivered during the 1950s for basic flight training, although confirmation of this is lacking.

Yakovlev Yak-15 Feather

One Yak-15 was claimed as shot down in 1953. Probably a mis-identification for the MiG-15.

Yakovlev Yak-16 Cork

No less than 22 said to have been delivered in 1950. Unconfirmed.

Yakovlev Yak-17UTI Magnet

Some two-seat Yak-17UTI conversion trainers said to have been delivered to the DPRKAF. Although a few Yak-17UTIs were exported to China, it is unlikely that any reached North Korea.

Yakovlev Yak-23 Flora

A contemporary of the MiG-15, some Yak-23s allegedly reached North Korea. Unconfirmed.

Leave a Comment