|1948. 09. 04.||L-4 aircraft the first Korean plane was bought(10 air planes).|
|1950. 05. 14.||T-6 training plane(Geongukgi) was introduced(10 airplanes).|
|1950. 07. 02.||F-51D bomber was introduced(10 bombers).|
|1950. 07. 03.||R.O.K Air Force F-51D bomber completed the first sortie.|
|1951. 09. 28.||The 10th Fighter Group moved to Gangneung base|
|1952. 08. 29.||Participation in the Pyeongyang Bombing Operation|
|1954. 04. 03.||The first Korean light aircraft(Buhwalho) was produced.|
|1955. 04. 29.||C-46 carrier was introduced.|
|1955. 06. 20.||F-86F fighter was introduced.|
|1955. 08. 17.||T-33A training plane was introduced.|
|1960. 02. 10.||F-86D the all-weather fighter was introduced.|
|1960. 08. 25.||The first Fighter Jet Strike Competition was held.|
|1960. 12. 20.||T-28 training plane was introduced.|
|1965. 04. 15.||F-5A/B fighter was introduced.|
|1966. 10. 17.||Dispatch of troops to Vietnam(Eunma unit was established.)|
|1967. 05. 24.||Gwangju base(K-7) was constructed.|
|1969. 08. 29.||F-4D Phantom fighter-bomber was introduced.|
|1970. 09. 16.||S-2A maritime patrol aircraft was introduced.|
|1972. 07. 20.||PL-2(Saemaeho) was manufactured.|
|1973. 06. 07.||T-37 training plane was introduced.|
|1974. 08. 27.||F-5E fighter was introduced.|
|1975. 12. 12.||The presented airplane(F-4D) as the donation to the national defense fund was taken over.|
|1977. 09. 20.||F-4E fighter bomber was introduced.|
|1982. 09. 16.||F-5E(Jegongho) fighter was manufactured by Korean industries.|
|1985. 07. 01.||Automatic MCRC(Master Control and Reporting Center) was launched.|
|1985. 08. 15.||B-737(presidential aircraft) was introduced.|
|1986. 04. 12.||F-16D fighter was introduced.|
|1986. 08. 01.||Management of Automated Air Route Traffic Control Center(ARTCC)|
|1988. 01. 09.||C-130 carrier was introduced.|
|1988. 03. 01.||Takeover of base aircraft gun.|
|1989. 04. 25.||T-28 training plane was decommissioned.|
|1991. 12. 31.||HH-47D helicopter was introduced.|
|1992. 03. 31.||C-54 carrier was decommissioned.|
|1993. 06. 30.||F-86F fighter was decommissioned.|
|1994. 01. 12.||CN-235 transport plane was introduced.|
|1995. 05. 31.||KF-16C(KFP) the first fighter was introduced.|
|1996. 10. 21.||Seoul Air Show was taken place.|
|2000. 08. 01.||The second automatic MCRC(Master Control and Reporting Center) was founded.|
|2002. 08. 20.||T-50 aircraft succeeded in the first flight.|
|2002. 09. 26.||The first female fighter pilot appeared in R.O.K Air Force.|
|2003. 02. 19.||T-50 aircraft succeeded in supersonic flight.|
|2003. 05. 01.||The second MCRC(Master Control and Reporting Center) was launched.|
|2003. 12. 23.||The 57th Airlift Wing(Cheongma unit) completed its mission and disbanded.|
|2004. 02. 29.||T-37C training plane was decommissioned.|
|2004. 07. 05.||T-103(IL-103) training plane was introduced.|
|2005. 12. 12.||F-15K(Slam Eagle) was introduced and its naming ceremony was held.|
|2005. 12. 29.||T-50(Golden Eagle) was introduced.|
|2006. 11. 28.||T-42B flight training plane was decommissioned.|
|2006. 12. 27.||O-2A aircraft was decommisioned.|
|2008. 11. 28.||Patriot-guided weapon system was brought in.|
|2008. 12. 21.||The dispatched Dayman forces completed its mission and withdrew from Kuwait.|
|2009. 12. 01.||Sparrow hawk(Saemae) system becomes military power and normal operation start.|
|2010. 05. 13.||The memorial event for taking over the 50th T-50 Advanced Trainer was held.|
|2010. 06. 15.||F-4D Fighter was decommissioned.|
|2011. 09. 21.||Airborne Warning and Control System(AWACS) Aircraft E-737(Peace Eye) was imported as the first aircraft.|
|2014. 12. 30.||Commencement of Normal Operation of FA-50|
|2015. 07. 08.||Opening of Korea Air Force Space Operations Center(KASPOC), Air and Space Combat Development Wing|
|2016. 12. 22.||Fielding of TAURUS, the Long Range Air to Ground Guided missile|
|2018. 04. 03.||C-130H's first flight over North Korea since the
division(transported South Korean personnel who were visiting
North Korea for the Unification Basketball match)
|2019. 01. 30.||Fielding event of KC-330 Cygnus, the Aerial Refueling Aircraft.|
|2019. 12. 17.||Fielding of F-35A Freedom Knight|
|2019. 12. 23.||The introduction of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the HALE (High Altitude
Long Endurance) Reconnaissance UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
The ROK Army Air Command, established on 5 May 1948 under direct jurisdiction of the Department of Internal Security(now the Ministry of National Defense), was retitled as ROK Army Air Base Command on July 27th of the same year. Yet, it was without a single aircraft before acquiring the L-4 liaison aircraft from the US Army. The L-4 liaison aircraft acquired from the US Army on 4 September were assembled by Korean mechanics. After flying together with Captain Kim Jeong-Ryeol to see the Korean pilots' flying capability, the flight leader from US Air Force acknowledged their ability to fly and left a full authority on flight training to Captain Kim. Afterwards, the Korean pilots successfully accomplished both take-off and landing, as well as formation flight on the first try, shocking the officials of the US Army. It was only after this acquisition process that an exhibition flight of ten L-4s with Taeguk symbols were carried out over Seoul on 15 September for the first time in the history of Korea.
"Seeking refuge and enlisted in the army of a foreign country as a young child, there was a wish I could not forget even in sleep. It was to wear the uniform of my own country, salute an officer of my own country, receive a salute from the men of my own country, and to fly freely the skies of my own country by an aircraft with Taegukgi painted on. Now that I had my wish granted, I no longer have any regrets." -Vice Minister of National Defense, Choi Yong-Deok
With the creation of ROK Army Air Command, the foundation for the establishment of the Korean Air Force was built. Upon this foundation and through tides of adverse situations, the Korean Air Force was finally established on 1 October 1949 as the ROKAF(Republic of Korea Air Force). However there was not a single aircraft available for battle except for the ten of Type L lightweight aircraft received from the U.S. Army. On March 1950, in order to reinforce the Air Force that was severely lacking in operational capability, the Government and the people of Korea engaged in 'Aircraft Donation Movement' and were able to raise over 350 million won worth of donation.
With the money, ROKAF imported ten AT-6 training aircraft from Canada on March 1950. On 14 May 1950, a christening ceremony was held at Yeoido base with the attendance of VIPs, including President Rhee Syngman. The T-6 aircraft was named 'Geon Guk Gi‘(National Foundation Aircraft) after the Korean people’s patriotism and their long cherished desire of building their nation “rich in economy and strong in military.” When the Korean War broke out, these T-6 trainers armed with bombs from the ordinance depot of Korean Army contributed heavily in halting the advance of the enemies. Following the introduction of the F-51D Mustang fighters in the ROKAF from the U.S. Army, the T-6 trainers played an outstanding role in reconnaissance and liaison sorties. After the armistice was made, the trainers had been committed mainly to fly pilot training sorties until they retired on 1 December 1962.
When the Korean War broke out, the L-4/5 and the T-6 aircraft were insufficient in their ability to neutralize the KPA(Korean People's Army) tanks that were advancing southward. The government and the ROKAF therefore requested an aid from the U.S. FEC(Far East Command), leading to dispatch of ten ROKAF pilots including Col. Lee Geun-Seok to Itazuke Air base in Japan in order to receive the aircraft on 26 June 1950. After finishing the aircraft conversion training to the F-51 in a short period, they piloted the aircraft across the Straits of Korea to Daegu base on July 2nd.
On 3 July 1950, the ROKAF F-51Ds that departed from Daegu base generated no more than twenty three sorties to have successfully interdict the Seungho-ri railway bridge in contrast to their American counterparts who flew some hundred sorties on 15 January 1951, only to no avail. These fighters also took part in and successfully accomplished crucial aerial military operations such as 'the Bombing of Pyongyang' and Air Support Operations in the 'Battle of Hill 351', rescuing the Republic of Korea from the perils of war. During the war, the ROKAF received a total of 130 F-51 Mustangs and allocated them to Yeouido, Sacheon, Jinhae, Mirim, and Gangneung air base to generate approximately 8,400 sorties while engaging in Air Interdiction Operations and CAS operations until the armistice. As such, the F-51D Mustang fighter that was the first fighter of the ROKAF, as well as a significant contributor to the victory of the Korean War, retired on 27 June 1957, leaving a legacy of "Mujeok Pilseung", or the assured winner's spirit of invincible warriors.
The ROKAF opened the jet era as the 10th Fighter Wing completed the conversion process to operate the F-86F Sabre fighters. However, the problem rose in the logistics support system when the U.S. Air Force stopped the operation of the F-86F fighters. Later, as the KPA held possession of the MiG-17 and the MiG-21 that were superior to the F-86F fighters, the ROKAF actively proposed the need for a formidable aircraft and was able to include the introduction of the F-104G fighter-bomber in the military aid policy of 1960. However the F-5A/B fighter developed by Northrop was introduced instead as the military aid policy changed. Built on the basis of the T-38 Talon aircraft, the F-5A/B(the F-5A is a single-seated aircraft and the F-5B is a double-seated aircraft) is a superior fighter with a maximum speed of Mach 1.44, manufactured by the U.S. to supply its allies.
The ROKAF held an introduction ceremony for the first batch of 20 F-5A/B fighters on 30 April 1965 at the Suwon Base in the presence of VIPs including President Park Chung-Hee and CINCUNC(Commander in Chief, United Nations Command) Hamilton H. Howze, hence taking a step forward from the subsonic era to the supersonic era.
The F-5A/B fighter flawlessly completed its mission of protecting the territorial airspace at the front line through various successful sorties, such as the destruction of North Korean spy boats near Heuksando island in 1969, the destruction of spy boats near Yeongdeok in 1970 and the interception of the TU-16 flying over the East Sea in 1983. With aircraft such as the F-16 the F-4, the F-5A/B fighter formed a triangular flight that was critical for the protection of the ROK territorial air space, leading an era as the first supersonic fighter of the ROKAF until it retired in 2005.
In the 1960s, the KPA air force began building up its military strength aggressively by means such as fielding the IL-28 bomber(cruising speed of 400KTS, flying range of 1,100NM) and the MiG-21 fighter(Maximum speed of Mach 2, combat range of 450NM). The ROKAF on the other hand began fielding the F-5A in 1965, but it was incapable of commencing strike on 000 airbase in case of possible contingency due to the short flying range. It is said that due to the pressing need for modernization of the ROKAF, Jang Ji-Ryang, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, had asserted to the president with a sense of urgency that the current situation was as if the ROK only had a jack knife in hand while Kim Il-Sung was armed with a pistol.
The ROKAF strongly requested the introduction of the F-4D Phantom as it's armed capability is six times greater than that of the F-5A fighter. Also, the F-4D Phantom had a reputation for being the best fighter-bomber of the time, as having the fighting power of one squadron of the Phantom was considered to be almost equal to that of three squadrons of the F-5A fighters. As such, multiple countries, including Turkey, longed to introduce the F-4D Phantom, but the U.S. only allowed sales to countries such as the U.K., Israel and Germany.
Contrary to the hope of the ROKAF to introduce the F-4D, the U.S. strongly recommended the introduction of the F-104G(star fighter) by Lockheed. However, the issue regarding the introduction of the F-4D Phantom became a topic of high priority as President Park Chung-Hee, recognizing the strong will of the ROKAF to introduce the F-4D, ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs Choi Kyu-Ha who was about to have a meeting with Cyrus Vance, an emissary from the U.S. who visited South Korea on October 1967, to "cancel the conference if we cannot be supported with the Phantom fighters."
The conference with the envoy Cyrus Vance came to an agreement to $100 million of special military aid, with $67 million for a squadron(total of 18 fighters) of the F-4D Phantom and $5 million for modernization of airbases. After much complications, the ROKAF became the 5th in the world to own the F-4D Phantom as it introduced the first batch of 6 F-4D Phantoms and held a introduction ceremony on 29 August 1969.
The F-4D Phantom had served as the core strength of the ROKAF and completed the mission of defending the national airspace for approximately 43 years from 29 August 1968 to 30 June 2010(The 151th Fighter Squadron of the 11th Fighter Wing discharged).he ROK territorial air space, leading an era as the first supersonic fighter of the ROKAF until it retired in 2005.
As Vietnam fell in 1974 and the reduction of U.S. Armed Forces in Korea began to be realized, the wish of Korean citizens to achieve autonomous defense sparked the 'Donation for National Defense Movement'. With total of 16.3 billion won raised, the Government decided to purchase five F-4D national defense contribution aircraft with 6.5 billion won and named them 'Pilseung Flight' as they were introduced 12 Dec, 1975.
The F-16 fighter of the ROKAF was introduced as a part of modernization and enhancement project of the air force. When the first and second F-16 arrived at Gunsan Base on 12 April 1986, 'F-16 Initial Introduction Ceremony' with the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Kim In-Gee. On 27 April of the same year, an introduction ceremony was held at The 11th Fighter Wing located in Daegu, where the F-16 fighter would be operated. Also, on 27 June 1986, with the attendance of President Chun Doo-Hwan, a christening ceremony as well as unveiling ceremony of the F-16 fighter, the 'Fighting Falcon', was held at Daegu Base.
Through the introduction of the F-16, the ROKAF was able to secure the air superiority in battle and countermeasure against the MiG-23 of the North, as well as reinforce operational capability in all-weather. It served as an opportunity to reaffirm the spirit and will to 'achieve victory against the enemy at all cost'.
As the C-123 transport aircraft, introduced in 1973, suffered from superannuation(deterioration and frequent defects due to a long term usage, the CN-235M-100 transport aircraft of CASA, a Spanish company, and the G-222 transport aircraft of Aeritalia, an Italian company, were selected as candidates for introduction. the CN-235M transport aircraft was ultimately selected on April 1992.
The CN-235M transport aircraft, co-developed by CASA of Spain and IPTN of Indonesia, was fit for special operations such as unconventional warfare, search and rescue, as well as logistic airlift. This medium-sized transport aircraft had 2,060NM of flying range and was capable of transporting 48 troops and carrying 13,200LBS of cargo, with the first batch arriving on 12 January 1994, continuing to sixth batch, introducing total of 00.
Additional introduction of the CN-235M was made from IPTN according to mutual defense industry mutual material purchase. Currently, total of 00 CN-235M transport aircraft from Spain and Indonesia has been introduced to the ROKAF, and has served as the main transport aircraft alongside the C-130H transport aircraft with countless successes, despite concerns derived from the diversification of weapon introduction routes.
The T-50 is the first domestic supersonic jet trainer co-developed and manufactured by KAI(Korea Aerospace Industries) and Lockheed Martin. Upon successful start of the mass production of the T-50 Golden Eagle jet trainer in 2005 thirteen years after its R&D in 1992, the Republic of Korea became the 12th in the world to domestically develop a supersonic jet trainer on it's own.
The T-50 jet trainer was designed with the purpose of performing pilot training for high-performance fighters such as the F-15K and the F-22, regarded as the best in all aspects such as high mobility, flight control system, and engine.
The ROKAF is currently utilizing the T-50 jet trainer not only as a advanced trainer jet for fighter pilot education, but also as the TA-50 or the FA-50 light-attacker equipped with radar, cannon, air-to-air, air-to-ground arms through performance modification that is protecting the national airspace as a substitute for the F-5 fighter, which is near its retirement. Also, Black Eagles, the ROKAF's aerobatics team, participates in various airshow over the world with the T-50B, heightening the stature of the Republic of Korea as well as displaying the excellence of the ROKAF to the world.
The F-15K fighter was introduced by the need for fielding of an advanced fighter capable of retaliating against new and superior aerial forces of KPA and its allies as well as substitution of superannuated military power such as the F-4D/E, preparation towards strategic environment of the 21st century, and securement of autonomous deterrent power.
Since the initial introduction of the F-15K on November 2005, the first batch of 00 F-15K were introduced until October 2008 and the second batch of 00 F-15K were introduced on April 2012, fielding 00 F-15K fighters in total.
The F-15K fighter, with its reputation as the most powerful fighter in Northeast Asia, becomes a deterrent power during peace time, manifests the national will during conflicts, and plays a critical role in achieving victory during times of war.
The F-15K fighter is capable of executing all-weather operations throughout the Korean Peninsula with its maximum speed of Mach 2.5 and combat range of 1,800km. Also, it is armed with advanced weapons such as the GPS-guided all-weather precision guidance missile JDAM, AIM-9X air-to-air missile, HARPOON II air-to-ship missile, SLAM-ER air-to-air missile, KEPD 350 long-range air-to-ground missile and more.