South Korean company KAI (Korea Aerospace Industries) began assembling the first flight prototype of the promising fighter KF-X. A photograph of a partially assembled fuselage was published by the company's press service.
According to the company, the assembly of the first flight prototype of the promising Korean fighter KF-X should be completed in the spring of 2021, the first rollout of the aircraft is scheduled for April of the same year. The first flight of the prototype fighter is planned for 2022.
The development of the KF-X fighter is carried out jointly with Indonesia. Although it is claimed that work on it started in 2016, it was first announced back in 2001, and Indonesia joined the program in 2010.
Fuselage of the first prototype KF-X
The fighter is created in single and double versions, although previously only single was reported. In terms of aerodynamic layout, this is an almost complete “copy” of the American F-22, but slightly smaller. The aircraft will be 16,9 meters long, with a wingspan of 11,2 meters and a height of 4,7 meters. It is planned to install two engines General Electric F414. Maximum take-off weight is 25,4 tons. Speed - up to 1,9 Mach. 10 suspension points for missiles, bombs and various hanging containers. In the first version - Block 1 - there are no internal compartments, this aircraft will be produced until 2028. The Block 2 version will go into production from 2029. It is stated that the second version will not have restrictions on the nomenclature of weapons.
The development of the fighter will be completed by 2026, the South Korean Air Force plans to acquire 120 new aircraft by 2032. New fighters will replace the obsolete F-4 Phantom II and F-5 Freedom Fighter / Tiger II.