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KF-21 보라매가 선보인 공중 기동: ADEX 2023 Maneuver of KF-21: ADEX 2023​


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ADEX 2023: KAI updates MUM-T concept for KF-21​

20 October 2023

by Akhil Kadidal


After unveiling a new unmanned fighter (or ‘loyal wingman') programme in support of the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 in May 2023, two KAI officials told Janes that the company is also conceptualising air-launched effects (ALEs) to be linked to the unmanned fighter.

Under this evolved two-tiered manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) system, KAI's ALEs, which it calls “Adaptable Aerial Platforms” (AAPs), will be slaved to the larger unmanned fighter. This concept was revealed during the International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2023 in Seoul. The exhibition is held from 17 to 22 October.

KAI told Janes in May that the development of the loyal wingman started that month but that the “plan was still evolving”. The updated concept now comprises pairing four ‘loyal wingman' unmanned fighters with one KF-21, with three to four AAPs paired to each unmanned fighter.

This is to reduce risk to manned and unmanned fighters (loyal wingmen) within the friendly formation. "As the unmanned fighter will also be an expensive platform, we seek to minimize risk to it by adding AAPs to conduct operations over particularly dangerous battle areas, " said the KAI officials who are members of the KF-21 project team.

"The formation of the three to four AAPs per unmanned fighter will be used for roles such as jamming, decoying, intelligent collection, and attack," the project official said.

"The AAPs will be placed ahead of the unmanned fighter when the formation is operating in high-risk areas", they added.

Aerial Demonstration in ADEX 2023

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F22 (Father)

KF21 (Son)

Seoul ADEX 2023 KF-21 보라매 Boramae Demo 【Full Ver.】​

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