South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in announced on April 9 that his country had become the world’s eighth country to produce a supersonic fighter jet using indigenous technology. About 65 percent of the jet’s components are made in the United States.
The KF-21 “Boramae,” which refers to “Fighting Hawk,” is a next-generation combat aircraft concept designed with indigenous technologies as part of the KF-X program. According to Korea Aerospace Industries, the first flight will take place next year, and construction will be completed in 2026.
According to the announcement, the KF-21 will serve as the “backbone” of the Republic of Korea Air Force, replacing the country’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets. According to Defense News, it’s a 4.5-generation aircraft, similar to F-16 fighter jets but less stealthy than Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II.
The two-seat fighter jet would be capable of flying at 1.8 times the sound speed and carrying 7.7 tons of weapons.
우리가 독자개발한 한국형 차세대— 문재인 (@moonriver365) April 9, 2021
전투기 ‘KF-21’의 시제기가 드디어
늠름한 위용을 드러냈습니다.
우리가 우리의 기술로 만든 우리의
첨단전투기입니다. 이제 지상시험과
비행시험을 마치면, 본격적인 양산에
들어갑니다. 2028년까지 40대,
2032년까지 모두 120대를 실전에
배치할 계획입니다. pic.twitter.com/kmXUuwWBRV
It would provide the Air Force with a variety of operations, including dogfights, neutralizing ground and sea enemy threats, and long-range strikes on enemy air defenses.
The KF-21’s “Integrated Electronic Warfare Equipment” acts to disrupt enemy radar, as is customary in electronic warfare. An “AESA radar” and an “Infrared Search and Track System” are both mounted on the planes to identify foreign aircraft and missiles. Furthermore, the jet’s “Electro-Optical Targeting Pod.” can quickly identify ground targets.
It’s impressive to see countries build and manufacture such amazing jets on their own land, and it’ll be fascinating to see how South Korea’s KF-21 supersonic fighter plane performs in its upcoming tests.