South Korea will complete the design of its own advanced fighter jet by the first half of 2018, and also to develop an AESA radar system in the KF-X project, the country’s arms procurement agency said Thursday.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Seoul hang a plan in the 2000s to replace the old Air Force F-4 and F-5 jets, and formally launched the 8.8 trillion-won (US$7.7 billion) KF-X program in early 2016, with the help of the Indonesia which shared 20 percent of the total cost.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) aims to round off the aircraft development by 2026 for two years of test operations to follow. DAPA officials said they plans to introduce some 120 KF-X fighters when the design will be done by June 2018.
South Korea is not just focusing in KF-X project, it includes the development of indigenous active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a core element for the envisioned 4.5-generation stealth combat jet.
South Korea is also seeking to obtain major weapon systems for the KF-X aircraft, especially for air-to-air engagement, from the United States or Europe.