Usually a small country wouldn’t have developed its own fighter jet. New Zealand and Japan doesn’t. Heck, even a huge country like Australia doesn’t. But not South Korea. For some reasons, the Korean Peninsula country has decided that it needs to develop its own.
The country first announced the fighter jet in 2015 and in just six years, it has unveiled its new KF-21 Boramae fighter jet. Six years is an awfully short time for any fighter jet development.
The KF-21 Boramae was developed by the country’s very own Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) in a collaboration with Indonesia and several international defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and Israeli companies Elbit and Elta. Weapons, however, will be outsourced.
The new fighter jet stretches 55 feet (16.8 meters) long and measures 36 feet (11 meters) wing tip-to-wing tip, and looks awfully similar to the F-22 Raptor with its canted vertical stabilizers, diamond shaped wings, and angular air intakes.
The fighter jet features 10 external hard points for armament and equipment like sensor pods and external fuel pods.
Its twin General Electric F414 engines generate 44,000 lbs of thrust and affords a top speed of 1,400 mph and a maximum takeoff weight of 56,400 lbs (25,583 kilograms).
According to a report, South Korea is expecting the KF-21 to complete weapon integration by 2026 and flight test by 2028. It is targeted to be combat-ready by 2032 with the country planning for 40 jets to join the country air force by 2028 and 120 by 2032.
Exports is also part of the plan. No ballpark figure of the pricing. However, it would definitely be cheaper than F-22 and F-35.
You can watch entire unveiling in the video embedded below. The real meat starts at 32:30, btw, in case you are not interested in the ceremony and entertainment. Also, the presentation is in Korean language.
Images: Korea Aerospace Industries.
Source: Popular Mechanics.