Military Aviation

Video features KF-21 Boramae jet fighter undergoing ground testing

The video in this post features a higher quality footage of KF-21 Boramae prototype undergoing ground test.

Posted on YouTube by Korea Defense Blog, the video in this post features a higher quality footage of KF-21 Boramae prototype undergoing ground test. The KF-21 is scheduled to conduct its first flight this month. A total of 6 prototypes will conduct various flight tests until KF-21 is declared operational in 2026.

As we have already explained KF-21 Boramae’s prototypes are currently undergoing various ground tests at Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) facility in Sacheon.

The Boramae (Hawk) is a 4.5 generation fighter jet.

KAI said that 95% of pre-flight ground tests have been completed. Along with 6 flyable prototype aircraft, 2 ground-testing models are undergoing tests at KAI.

The KF-21 was unveiled on Apr. 9, 2021.

According to KAI, the aircraft is designed to be able to fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1.81, with its flying range reaching 2,900 kilometers.

Featuring dimension of 16.9m x 4.7m x 11.2m, KF-X is larger than F-16 and is of similar size as F-18. Development of KF-21 began in earnest on January 2016 and the assembly process began in 2019 after Critical Design Review (CDR) was completed in 2018. The KF-21 is expected to replace Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-4 and F-5 (and eventually even F-15K and KF-16) fighters and will operate alongside the more advanced F-35A in ROKAF inventory.

The KF-21 is a joint project between South Korea and Indonesia in which Seoul holds 80% of shares while Jakarta seeks 20%.

Lockheed Martin is an official partner of the KF-X program. When the ROKAF acquired 40 F-35A jet fighters from LM, one of the major clauses in the contract included technology transfers, four of which were categorized as “core technologies” necessary for KF-21’s development.

The four “core technologies” were: Active Electronically-Scanned (AESA) Radar, Radio Frequency (RF) Jammer, Electro-Optical Targeting Pod (EO-TGP), and Infrared Search and Track (IRST).

However, since the US Congress deemed them to be too sensitive, and the technology transfer did not push through, these technologies are being developed indigenously.

Photo credit: Korea Defense Blog

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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