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Top 8 facts about South Korean KF 21 Fighter jet: Specification, Partnerships, Weapons, and capacity

1. It took its first maiden flight in July 2022. 

The Korean Aerospace Industries built the air superiority fighter KF 21 Bormae with Indonesia’s assistance. Its airframe is more stealthy than any fourth-generation fighter, but unlike fifth-generation fighters, it does not carry weapons through an internal bay.

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It made its first flight from the production facility on July 19, 2022. The Korean name Bormae translates to “young Hawk” in English. At least 40 aircraft are expected to be delivered by 2028, according to the report. but it will also be offered on the international market.

Top 8 facts about South Korean KF 21 Fighter jet: Specification, Partnerships, Weapons, and capacity

2.It is a 4.5 Generation fighter jet. 

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To replace the outdated F4 and F5 fighter fleet, an alternative fighter is being developed for the Republic of Korea’s air force. It is a multirole fighter jet of the 4.5 generation, the source said. Initially, South Korea sought to develop a fighter aircraft that could outperform the Typhoon and Dassault Rafale.

Technically speaking, though, it necessitated extensive study and creation. They nevertheless made an effort to design a plane that would compete with the F16 Fighting Falcon in terms of combat range, a 34% longer airframe, and better weaponry.

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US Army and Sikorsky agree on a $2.3 billion purchase of Black Hawk helicopters(Opens in a new browser tab)

3.Indonesia is a partener for KF 21 progrm.  

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Most nations cooperate in the program to lessen the burden of the financial aspects because it takes proper investments to develop any technology. In KF X, Indonesia joined the regional program in 2010 as per a committee agreement for 20% ownership. Later, however, KAI claimed that it had not made the agreed-upon payments. Later, an agreement was reached between Indonesia and South Korea to create a new cost-sharing plan by 2022.

Top 8 facts about South Korean KF 21 Fighter jet: Specification, Partnerships, Weapons, and capacity

4. KF 21 backed by Lockheed martin

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The KF-21 program is supported by American titan Lockheed Martin, which is supplying the program with a number of design consultancy components. The staggering list of imported systems, along with numerous industrial-grade tools and consultancy to rely on for technical developments, includes everything from brake pads to flight controls systems, LRUs, landing gear, avionics, canopies, oxygen generators, radar, engines, ejection seats, and even the aircraft’s software management system.

As part of a purchase agreement, Lockheed Martin consented to transfer two dozen F-35A technologies. Four crucial technologies, AESA radar, infrared search and track (IRST), electro-optical targeting pod (EO TGP), and radio frequency identification (RFID), were, however, prohibited from export by the US government.

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5. Stealth Fighter variant by 2035. 

According to KAI, most of the systems may have been locally indigenous by the time the KF-21 Block III, which is expected to be a true stealth fighter variant by 2035, is released. However, until that time, the KF-21 is just a 4.5-generation fighter jet with elements of the 5th generation fighter, which is still being developed. Though the program is heavily supported by American defense industrial partners, which would still be under US control, must still be acknowledged. It will also take until 2035 before KAI has its own domestically developed technology.

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Top 8 facts about South Korean KF 21 Fighter jet: Specification, Partnerships, Weapons, and capacity

6. Expensive military project in Korean history

Indonesia is said to be asked to reduce its share in the joint investment and development of the KF-21 by 5 percent and for more technology transfers than stipulated in the original agreement. The development of the KF-21 has been called the most expensive military project in Korean history, with a price tag of approximately 8.5 trillion won ($7.8 billion) for development alone. According to the government, 719 Korean businesses have participated in the development of the KF-21. About 65 percent of over 30,000 parts used in the prototype aircraft were made in Korea.

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Features 

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The KF 21 can be operated by a single and double crew.

  • It is 15 feet 5 inches tall, 55 feet 5 inches long, and has a wingspan of 36 feet 9 inches.
  • It weighs 18,800 kg when empty and can support a maximum weight of 25,400 kg.
  • It had a 2 GE 414 engine that can produce 57.8 kilonewtons without an afterburner and 97.9 kilonewtons with one.
  • It has a range of 2,900 km and a top speed of Mach 1.81.

Speaking about the weapon package of the KF 21

  • It has ten Hard points. which is equipped with air-to-air missiles such as the MBDA, AIM 120, Diehl IRIS, and AIM 9x.
  • It features anti-ship missiles like AGM 84 Harpoon and air-to-ground missiles like Taurus and AGM-65.
  • It is capable of transporting conventional and precision-guided bombs like JDAM, GBU, and KGGB.

 

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The KF 21 fighter jet has AESA radar, an infrared search and track system, an electro-optical targeting pod, datalink capabilities, a radiofrequency jammer, and many more characteristics. It is estimates the cost of the KF-21 at $65 million per unit.

Please share your thoughts on the Korean-built KF 21 fighter plane in the comments area.

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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