Quick Facts KF-21 Boramae, Role ...
|KAI KF-X miniature at Seoul ADEX 2017|
|Role||Block 1: Air superiority fighter|
Block 2: Multirole combat aircraft, air superiority fighter
|National origin||South Korea/Indonesia|
|Manufacturer||Korea Aerospace Industries|
|Design group||Agency for Defense Development|
|First flight||2022 (planned)|
|Primary users||Republic of Korea Air Force(intended)|
Indonesian Air Force(intended)
|Number built||4 prototype(s)|
The program is led by the South Korean government, which holds 60% of the program's shares. Indonesia took a 20% stake in the program in 2010, and the remaining 20% is held by private partners including the manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI). The KAI KF-X is South Korea's second domestic fighter jet development program, following the FA-50.
In April 2021, the first prototype was completed and unveiled during a rollout ceremony at the headquarters of KAI in Sacheon. It was officially given the name Boramae (Korean: 보라매, literally 'young hawk' or 'eyas'). The first test flight is anticipated in 2022, with manufacturing scheduled to begin in 2026. At least 40 aircraft are planned to be delivered by 2028, with South Korea expecting to deploy a total of 120 of the aircraft by 2032. It will also be available for export market.
In Indonesia, the KF-X development program is referred to as the IF-X program. The Jakarta Globe reported that the completed aircraft will receive the designation F-33.
multirole jet fighter project, intended to produce modern warplanes to replace South Korea's aging F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft, was first announced in March 2001 by South Korean President Kim Dae-jung at a graduation ceremony of the Korea Air Force Academy.Research and development (R&D) requirements were determined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2002.: 18 The project was felt to be extremely ambitious, with the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA, a defense ministry think tank) doubtful of the country's ability to complete the complicated project
Design and development
The KF-21 production line
The initial goal for the program was to develop a single-seat twin-engine multirole fighter with stealth capabilities exceeding both the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon but less than those of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The Weapon Systems Concept Development and Application Research Center of Konkuk University advised that the KF-X should be superior to the F-16 Fighting Falcon, with 50% greater combat range, 34% longer airframe lifespan, better avionics, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, more-effective electronic warfare, and data link capabilities. Their recommendations also specified approximately 50,000 pounds-force (220,000 N) of thrust from two engines, supersonic interception and cruising capabilities, and multi-role capabilities. The project requirements were later downgraded by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) to a 4.5 generation fighter with limited stealth capabilities.
South Korea possessed 65% of the necessary technology to produce the KF-X, and sought cooperation from other countries. To facilitate technology transfer, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) proposed two primary concepts for the KF-X: C103, which resembled the F-35; and C203, which resembled European fighters with forward canards (the design chosen would depend on whether a development deal was reached with the US or European partners).
The C501 (a.k.a. KFX-E) was a third design, proposed by KAI and supported by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), which attempted to reduce costs with a smaller, single-engine fighter, but it had inferior performance to the F-16 and was unsuitable for the large airspace of Indonesia. ROKAF preferred the benefits of a twin-engine design, with better combat performance and safety, and a larger airframe with room for upgrades. These upgrades could lead to a future reclassification as a fifth-generation fighter, while the C501 was closer to fourth generation.
In 2014, the C103 configuration was chosen and Lockheed Martin agreed to transfer two dozen F-35A technologies as part of a purchase deal. However, the US government blocked the transfer of four vital technologies: AESA radar, infrared search and track (IRST), electro-optical target tracking devices, and radio jammer technology. South Korea was thus required to develop these technologies domestically. A 2015 audit estimated that 87% of technologies for the project had been secured.: 23 The preliminary design was finalized in June 2018. In September 2019, a critical design review examined 390 technical data sets and confirmed that the KF-X was adequate to ROKAF's requirements.
|||KAI KFX-E||ADD C103||ADD / KAI C105||ADD / KAI C109|
|Empty weight||9,300 kg (20,500 lb)||10,900 kg (24,000 lb)||11,100 kg (24,420 lb)||11,800 kg (26,000 lb)|
|Max weight||20,900 kg (46,000 lb)||24,000 kg (53,000 lb)||24,500 kg (53,900 lb)||25,400 kg (56,000 lb)|
|Internal fuel||3,600 kg (8,000 lb)||5,400 kg (12,000 lb)||5,400 kg (12,000 lb)||5,400 kg (12,000 lb)|
|Wingspan||9.8 metres (32 ft)||10.7 metres (35. 2 ft)||11.0 metres (36. 08 ft)||11.2 metres (36. 75 ft)|
|Length||15.2 metres (50 ft)||15.7 metres (51. 3 ft)||16.0 metres (52. 49 ft)||16.9 metres (55. 4 ft)|
|Wing area||37.1 square metres (399 sq ft)||42.7 square metres (460 sq ft)||42.7 square metres (460 sq ft)||46.5 square metres (501 sq ft)|
|Engine||1 × P&W F100 or GE F110||2 × EJ200or GE F414||2 × GE F414||2 × GE F414|
|Weapons bay||None||Space provided||Space provision||Space provision|
R&D expendituresA 2015 government audit placed the development cost of the project at ₩8.8 trillion: 18 (equivalent to ₩9.06 trillion or US$8.01 billion in 2017). In an agreement signed at the end of 2015, Indonesia agreed to provide 20% of the development costs, KAI would provide an additional 20%,and the Korean government would support the remainder.[better source needed]
More information Calendar Year, Expenditures on R&D ...
|Expenditures on R&D||Total||Ref|
|₩44 billion (US$39.06 million)||₩11 billion (US$9.77 million)||₩55 billion (US$48.83 million)||: 21|
More information Calendar Year, Expenditures on R&D ...
Full Scale Development
|Expenditures on R&D||Total|
|2015||₩55.2 billion (US$48.8 million)||?||?|
|2016||₩67 billion (US$57.74 million)||?||?|
|2017||₩303 billion (US$268.04 million)||?||?|
|2018||₩435.3 billion (US$395.55 million)||?||?|
|2019||₩664 billion (US$569.78 million)||?||?|
Project partnersWhile KAI was the primary builder, numerous other domestic and foreign companies were contracted to provide aircraft components or support. Several of these firms had worked with KAI on the T-50. For certain sensitive technologies, foreign companies only consulted for testing support in order to avoid arms-trading restrictions.
Hanwha Techwin signed an agreement with General Electric to manufacture General Electric F414 engines for KF-X aircraft. According to the contract, Hanwha is to manufacture key parts, locally assemble the engines, and oversee the installation of the engine on the aircraft. The company will also support flight testing and build an extensive support system for the aircraft's operations.
A Defense News report stated that the AESA radar would be a particular challenge; it was developed by Hanwha Systemswith assistance from other domestic firms and support from foreign companies. Elta Systems helped to test the prototype AESA, and Saab worked with LIG Nex1 on software development and evaluation.
In addition to working on the AESA, LIG Nex1 is to develop a radio jammer.
US aerospace contractor Texstars was selected by KAI to develop canopy and windshield transparencies for KF-X. Under the contract, Texstars will work alongside KAI to provide the KF-X fighter with birdstrike resistant transparencies with high-quality optics.
Triumph Group was selected by KAI to provide airframe mounted accessory drives (AMADs) for the KF-X. Triumph will develop and manufacture the AMADs, which transfer engine power to other systems.
Aeronautical Systems [es] (Spanish: Compañía Española de Sistemas Aeronáuticos, CESA), a subsidiary of Héroux-Devtek, was contracted to develop the emergency braking system.
United Technologies announced in February 2018 that it was providing the environmental control system, including cabin pressurization and liquid cooling systems, as well as the air turbine starter and flow control valve.
Martin-Baker was contracted to provide the Mk18 ejection seat escape mechanism.
Cobham received contracts to provide missile ejection launchers, communications antennae, external fuel tanks, and oxygen systems.
Meggitt was contracted to provide a wheel braking system,standby flight displays, and internal sensors including a fire detection system.
MBDA was contracted to integrate the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) onto the aircraft.
Elbit Systems was contracted by Hanwha Systems to provide terrain-following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) systems for the aircraft.
Curtiss-Wright was contracted by KAI to Provide complete flight test instrumentation (FTI) system, it is data acquisition system (DAS) for use in flight-test campaigns.
In February 2019, KAI began production work on the KF-X prototype, with six expected to be completed in 2021. These are to undergo four years of trials, and complete the development process by mid-2026. The first prototype was publicly rolled out on 9 April 2021; in addition to the six aircraft for airborne tests, two will be made for ground tests. DAPA anticipated a first test flight in 2022.
SpecificationsData from Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA)[better source needed]
- Crew: 1 or 2
- Length: 16.9 m (55 ft 5 in)
- Wingspan: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
- Height: 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in)
- Wing area: 46.5 m2 (501 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 11,800 kg (26,015 lb)
- Gross weight: 17,200 kg (37,920 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 25,400 kg (55,997 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F414-GE-400Kafterburning turbofan, 57.8 kN (13,000 lbf) thrust each dry, 97.9 kN (22,000 lbf) with afterburner
- Hardpoints: 10 (six under-wing and four under-fuselage)
- Air-to-air missiles:
- MBDA Meteor
- AIM-120 AMRAAM
- Diehl IRIS-T
- AIM-9X Sidewinder
- Air-to-ground missiles:
- Taurus KEPD 350
- Anti-ship missiles:
- Normal bombs:
- GBU-39/B SDB
- CBU-105 WCMD
- Normal bombs:
- Precision Guided bombs:
- GBU-54/56 LJDAM
- GBU-12 LGB
- AESA radar by Hanwha Systems
- IRST by Hanwha Systems
- E/O Targeting System (EOTS) by Hanwha Systems
- Datalink capabilities by LIG Nex1
- Radio Frequency Jammer by LIG Nex1 ALQ-200K
- MC (mission computer) by Hanwha Systems
- SMC (stores management computer) by LIG Nex1 and Hanwha Systems
- MFD (multi-function display) by Hanwha Systems
- FLCC (flight control computer) by LIG Nex1
- CNI (communication/navigation/identification system) by LIG Nex1
- KAI KF-21 Boramae
- Air-to-air missiles: