Seoul chose the weapons for its own fifth-gen KF-X fighter jet
SEOUL, (BM) – In South Korea, the selection process for high-precision munitions and guidance kits for equipping the promising multi-purpose fighter KF-X (Korean Fighter eXperimental) has completed, learned Bulgarianmilitary.com citing Jane’s.
According to the Jane’s interlocutors, Raytheon’s guided aerial bombs GBU-12 “Paveway II” are going to be integrated into the armament and equipment of the new aircraft, GBU-39 small-precision bombs, GBU-31/38 GPS equipment kits ( JDAM) to equip Boeing’s adjustable bombs, GBU-54/56 laser guidance systems, and Textron’s CBU-105 flight correction modules.
Jane’s sources say that the process of integration into the equipment of the KF-X fighter high-precision bombs and guidance systems that are already used by the South Korean Air Force will begin at the end of this year and should be completed in the next 6-7 years.
Earlier, in November 2019, the European company MBDA signed a contract to include air-to-air missiles with a range of over 37 km in the KF-X armament. In addition, it is planned that the German Diehl Defense will equip the aircraft with an IRIS-T short-range missile. The relevant contract, according to Jane’s, the parties will sign in the near future.
Israel’s Elbit Systems terrain and collision avoidance (TF / TA) systems will also be installed on the newest fighter: a Haifa-based company signed a contract with Hanwha Systems in South Korea in February to develop an active phased array radar for the KF-X.
The KF-X program started at the end of January 2016. In total, it is planned to spend 8.8 trillion won (about $ 7.7 billion) on the creation of the aircraft. The South Korean military classifies this aircraft as the “4.5” generation, noting that in terms of combat capabilities it should be superior to the French Rafal fighter and the European Typhoon.
Korea Aerospace Industries for the first time demonstrated a full-size model of the promising KF-X fighter at the ADEX exhibition in Seoul in October 2019. The rollout of the new fighter is scheduled for early 2021, the first flight – at the beginning of 2022.
The development of the fighter is planned to be completed by 2026, after which the Korean military will begin to purchase KF-X. The South Korean Ministry of Defense is ready to pay another 10 trillion won ($ 9 billion) to acquire 120 KF-X fighters by 2032. As part of the Air Force, they must replace the obsolete F-4 Phantom 2 and F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger-2. In addition to Korean designers, the project involved the American company Lockheed Martin and the Indonesian PT Dirgantara Indonesia.
The KF-X fighter plan to produce in single and double configurations. The aircraft will be 16.9 meters long, with a wingspan of 11.2 meters and a height of 4.7 meters. The maximum take-off mass of the fighter will be 25.4 tons. It is assumed that the fighter will be able to fly at speeds up to 1.9 Mach number (2328 km / h).
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