Homegrown Fighter Jet to Be Unveiled Next Month

      March 02, 2021 12:59

      The prototype of Korea's first homegrown fighter jet will be unveiled in April, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Monday.

      The milestone comes a full 20 years since then-President Dae-jung announced the development at an Air Force Academy graduation in March 2001 and five years after DAPA and the Korea Aerospace Institute finally started development.

      Workers assemble the prototype of a KF-X fighter jet at the Korea Aerospace Industries in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province on Feb. 24. /Yonhap

      The prototype is more than 90 percent complete. At 16.9 m long, 4.7 m high and 11.2 m wide, it is a little bigger than the U.S.' F-16, but similar to the F-18. It can produce up to 44,000 lbs of thrust, and carry a maximum takeoff weight of 25,600 kg and loading weight of up to 7,700 kg.

      It has a range of 2,900 km and is capable of flying at a maximum speed of Mach 1.81 (2,200 km/h). The jet will undergo ground tests for about a year and hopefully make its maiden flight in July next year.

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