Korea Aerospace Industries unveils a full-sized mock-up of KF-X fighter

 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled a full-sized mock-up of the developmental KF-X fighter, during Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX).

Korea Aerospace Industries unveils a full sized mock up of KF X fighter 01 KF-X mock-up showcased at ADEX 2019 (Picture source: Chen Chuanren)

The initial operational requirements for the KF-X/IF-X program as stated by South Korea's Agency for Defence Development were to develop a single-seat, twin-engine jet with stealth capabilities beyond both the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, but not as stealthy as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

South Korean and Indonesia agreed in 2014 to jointly develop the KF-X in a project worth 7.5 trillion won ($6.33 billion) with Jakarta agreeing to pay 20% of the cost.

The showcased model has six under-wing hard points: two for external fuel tanks, two laser-guided bombs, and two other IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles. Four MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles are nestled under the fuselage, while a mock-up of the Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pod is mounted on the right cheek station.

“The KF-X program now enters the prototype development phase as its CDR was approved,” said Jung Kwang-seon, chief of DAPA’s KF-X development team. “We will strive to develop and deploy the KF-X aircraft with advanced capabilities meeting the combat requirements.”

Powered by two GE Aviation F414 engines, the KF-X will conduct its debut sortie in the first half of 2022, with operational deployment planned for 2026.

Korea Aerospace Industries unveils a full sized mock up of KF X fighter 02 KF-X  (Picture source: KAI)

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