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Zapper

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SACHEON, South Gyeongsang Province ― South Korea is set to roll out the first prototype of its indigenously developed next-generation fighter jet, widely known as the Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) aircraft, late next month.

A total of six prototypes are in the final stages of assembly at the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) headquarters in Sacheon, Gyeongsang Province. Test flights will be carried out next year, following ground testing after the April roll-out.

Industry officials expressed expectations that the KF-X would not only help accelerate domestic production of fighter jet parts but also bring about a considerable economic effect, creating jobs for about 110,000 people during the full development period planned through 2028. Since the KAI embarked on the KF-X development project in 2016 after winning the contract from the government the previous year, the project has created jobs for more than 10,000 people as of 2020, according to the company.

Officials also expressed expectations that the KF-X fighter jets will compete in the global market with fifth-generation fighter jets such as the U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin's F-35 and F-22, based on price and technology competitiveness. According to the KAI, the KF-X is designed as a 4.5-generation jet whose basic hardware and platform could be used for further development and conversion into a fifth-generation one with improved "stealth" technologies.

The first prototype of South Korea's indigenously developed next generation fighter jet KF-X is being assembled at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 24. Courtesy of Defense Acquisition Program Administration
A Korea Aerospace Industries official explains the weapon systems of the KF-X fighter jet to reporters at company headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 24. Courtesy of Defense Acquisition Program Administration

"As the KF-X has been equipped with hardware to become a stealth fighter, we are currently exploring ways to apply stealth technologies to the jet, although we have yet to specify details for further developments as the military has yet to present the details necessary for further developments after Block I and Block II stages of the KF-X development project," Jung Kwang-sun, director general of the KF-X Program Group under the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), told reporters who were visiting KAI headquarters, Feb. 24.

The KF-X project is an "evolutionary development" project which is divided into two phases. The first phase, or the Block I stage, is about developing the basic system of the fighter jet from 2016 to 2026. The second phase, or the Block II stage which would be carried out from 2026 to 2028, is about adding more weapon systems.

The first prototype of South Korea's indigenously developed next generation fighter jet KF-X is being assembled at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 24. Courtesy of Defense Acquisition Program Administration
The first prototype of South Korea's indigenously developed next generation fighter jet KF-X is being assembled at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 24. Courtesy of Defense Acquisition Program Administration

While the core equipment of the KF-X has been developed with domestic technologies, including active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, infrared search and track (IRST) equipment, electro-optical target tracking (EO TGP) devices and electronic warfare (EW) suite, the target ratio of localization is 65 percent, in terms of the total costs of the parts used for the jet.

With 10 stations on the jet, about 50 different weapons combinations that weigh up to 7.7 tons can be carried. The total fuel capacity of the jet is 5.3 tons and it has aerial refuelling capability.
 

Bilal9

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Full FADEC I believe for the F414 engines. Great platform, a first in Asia (outside China) for a stealth design....
 

Syed1.

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Wow that's gorgeous.


Tiny country off to the side of the world with not a lot of natural resources and look at how they have developed and advanced. All through sheer determination, hard work and will power. I wish Pakistanis had just 10% of the work ethic and drive of the Koreans.
 

Gripen9

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Would this be considered a full blown 5th gen Stealth aircraft or more low observable 4.5+ gen?
Seems to be a great design but does not have internal weapons bay and ordnance is carried on external hardpoints. What kind of RAM coating does it use?
 

Indos

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Would this be considered a full blown 5th gen Stealth aircraft or more low observable 4.5+ gen?
Seems to be a great design but does not have internal weapons bay and ordnance is carried on external hardpoints. What kind of RAM coating does it use?
Block 2 is planned to be full STEALTH. The development of block 2, particularly the software has already been started. The design has already considered internal weapon with 6 AA missiles.
 

pakpride00090

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Wow that's gorgeous.


Tiny country off to the side of the world with not a lot of natural resources and look at how they have developed and advanced. All through sheer determination, hard work and will power. I wish Pakistanis had just 10% of the work ethic and drive of the Koreans.
Nah.. Here we will destroy the people who are actually working for good by imposing absurd policies like quota system and discrimination based on ethnicity , cast , language or birdari..

South Korea is a homogenous country where they don't have such issues ... They are more evolved and not primitive like us.
 

Tumba

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This plane is stealth like without internal weapons bay....why didnt go all in stealth plane I wonder...
 

Indos

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This plane is stealth like without internal weapons bay....why didnt go all in stealth plane I wonder...
Despite it doesnt have internal weapon bay in block 1, but the overall RCS will be much reduce compared to 4 generation design like Rafale. And dont forget it does have semi internal weapon for 4 missiles if you look on the belly. For STEALTH configuration it can fly quite STEALTHY with 4 missiles in the belly. Here

1614639345264.png


Other reasons:

1. To make it less complicated and the full STEALTH version will be developed in block 2 (according to the plan, and yes it has allready been developed now). Need to inform you that the design has already considered internal weapon bay. You can see sticky KFX/IFX thread to read from the engineers words themselves

2. Indonesia needs long range fighter and we need additional fuel tanks. It is due to our vast territory, both sea and land. Korea also consider China and Japan as threat, so they are also benefiting from this design.

3. We can see even USA is still buying F 15 EX, it shows less STEALTH fighter is still useful in real combat.
 

Beast

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3. We can see even USA is still buying F 15 EX, it shows less STEALTH fighter is still useful in real combat.
Less stealthy fighter is only useful against non stealthy aircraft. If against full stealth aircraft. You will be eaten for lunch.
 

Goritoes

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Wonderful work by Koreans, very hard-working and determined and friendly as well, met a lot of them in my workplace, they are very nice, to say the least.
 

Falcon26

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Despite it doesnt have internal weapon bay in block 1, but the overall RCS will be much reduce compared to 4 generation design like Rafale. And dont forget it does have semi internal weapon for 4 missiles if you look on the belly. For STEALTH configuration it can fly quite STEALTHY with 4 missiles in the belly. Here

View attachment 721360

Other reasons:

1. To make it less complicated and the full STEALTH version will be developed in block 2 (according to the plan, and yes it has allready been developed now). Need to inform you that the design has already considered internal weapon bay. You can see sticky KFX/IFX thread to read from the engineers words themselves

2. Indonesia needs long range fighter and we need additional fuel tanks. It is due to our vast territory, both sea and land. Korea also consider China and Japan as threat, so they are also benefiting from this design.

3. We can see even USA is still buying F 15 EX, it shows less STEALTH fighter is still useful in real combat.
Does Indonesia own the intellectual property? Can it export without South Korean permission?
 

Tumba

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Despite it doesnt have internal weapon bay in block 1, but the overall RCS will be much reduce compared to 4 generation design like Rafale. And dont forget it does have semi internal weapon for 4 missiles if you look on the belly. For STEALTH configuration it can fly quite STEALTHY with 4 missiles in the belly. Here

View attachment 721360

Other reasons:

1. To make it less complicated and the full STEALTH version will be developed in block 2 (according to the plan, and yes it has allready been developed now). Need to inform you that the design has already considered internal weapon bay. You can see sticky KFX/IFX thread to read from the engineers words themselves

2. Indonesia needs long range fighter and we need additional fuel tanks. It is due to our vast territory, both sea and land. Korea also consider China and Japan as threat, so they are also benefiting from this design.

3. We can see even USA is still buying F 15 EX, it shows less STEALTH fighter is still useful in real combat.
doesnt look much stealthy from above config though ....but the 4 AAMs are pretty much attached to belly that might be better for stealthy profile good for Air to Air stealthy role but if south korea on thr first try can manufacture that pretty sure coming iterations will be easily matching west...
south korea has very advanced industry so expected..
 

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