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|Manufacturer||Korea Aerospace Industries|
|Introduced||Designated to be approximately 2020|
|Primary user||Republic of Korea Air Force |
Indonesian Air Force
|Number built||none yet|
The Korea Aerospace Industries KF-X is South Korea's project to develop an indigenous fighter aircraft for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). It was first announced by South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung at the graduation ceremony of the Air Force Academy in March 2001. Although the initial operational requirements for the KF-X program as stated by the ADD (Agency for Defence Development) were to develop a single-seat, twin-engine jet with stealth capabilities beyond either the Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon, but still less than the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the focus of the program has been shifted to producing a fighter with higher capabilities than F-16 Block 60 class fighter by 2020.
On 15th July 2010 the South Korean and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding where Indonesia agreed to finance 20% of the development cost and to obtain around 50 units of the fighter.
 Design and development
According to the Weapon Systems Concept Development and Application Research Center of Konkuk University, the KF-X is intended to be an F-16 Block 50 class fighter which would replace South Korea's aging F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft, with production numbers estimated to be over 250 aircraft. Compared to the F-16 Block 50, the KF-X will have a 50% greater combat radius, 34% longer airframe lifespan, better avionics including a domestically produced AESA radar, an electronic warfare suite, IRST, and datalink capabilities. Operational requirements also specify 50,000 pounds of thrust provided by one or preferably two engines, high-speed interception and supercruise capabilities, basic stealth technology and multirole capabilities. There are currently two competing designs for the KFX, the KFX-201 which has a tri-plane layout with canards and a more conventional, F-35 style KFX-101 design.
South Korea currently possesses 63% of the necessary technology to produce the KF-X and is therefore seeking cooperation from Saab, Boeing and Lockheed Martin to develop the KF-X. The cost of each KF-X aircraft is estimated to be roughly $50 million.
South Korea also lacks the funds to develop the aircraft and expects foreign partners to provide 40% of the development funding for a project to produce around 120 jets for South Korea.
In October 2009 a retired general in the South Korean Air Force was arrested for leaking classified documents to Swedish aviation and defence corporation Saab. The general was to have been given a bribe of several hundred thousand dollars for copies of a number of secret documents that he had photographed in the South Korean Defence University. Saab officials denied any involvement.
|This aircraft article is missing some (or all) of its specifications. If you have a source, you can help Wikipedia by adding them.|
- Crew: 1
- Thrust: about 50,000 lbf
- Datalink capabilities
- AESA radar
- ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/03/116_41896.html
- ^ http://www.asiae.co.kr/news/view.htm?sec=sisa1&idxno=2009072414004260622
- ^ Indonesia Joins South Korean Fighter Effort
- ^ http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4202866&c=ASI&s=AIR
- ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/07/113_49176.html
- ^ Seoul seeks to make own jets, choppers
- ^ http://svt.se/2.22620/1.1731852/korean_anholls_for_lacka_till_saab
- ^ http://www.swedishwire.com/business/1089-saab-suspected-of-bribes-in-south-korean-jet-deal
- ^ http://www.alert5.com/2009/10/saab-being-investigated-in-south-korea.html
- ^ http://internasional.kompas.com/read/2010/07/15/17050041/IndonesiaKorsel.Kembangkan.Jet.KFX-8