GE Aviation delivered the first F414-GE-400K engine in May to Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) for South Korea’s next-generation indigenous fighter, known as the KF-X. Developed for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), the F414-powered KF-X will deliver significantly greater mission capability, extended combat radius and longer lifespan compared to current aircraft. GE’s F404 engines currently power South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle, a high-performance supersonic trainer developed with KAI for the ROKAF. GE’s T700 turboshaft engines power the Korean utility helicopter Surion. Additionally, GE’s F110 engines power the ROKAF’s F-15K aircraft.
South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) selected GE Aviation in May 2016 to supply F414-GE-400K engines for the KF-X fighter. The multi-role KF-X aircraft, a $7.4 billion project, is being designed and built by KAI. The KF-X aircraft will replace Korea’s F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II fleet. The development program is scheduled to be completed in 2026, which includes the production of 15 F414 flight test engines and six prototype fighters by 2021. Flight testing will occur in 2023. 120 KF-X aircraft are scheduled for production serving the South Korean armed forces. GE Aviation will provide 240 F414 production engines plus spares.
GE’s F414 engine went into service in 1998 and has flown more than 4.6 million flight hours with more than 1,750 engines delivered. In addition to the KF-X, the F414 powers Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, Saab’s JAS 39E/F Gripen, India’s Tejas Mark 2, and Lockheed Martin and NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Transport. GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE , is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components, integrated digital, avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation is part of the world’s Digital Industrial Company with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.
The KAI KF-X is a joint South Korean and Indonesian fighter aircraft development program with the goal of producing an advanced multirole fighter for the South Korean and Indonesian air forces. The KAI KF-X is South Korea’s second domestic fighter jet development program, following the FA-50.
The KF-X development program is also known as Boramae (보라매, Korean for “hawk”), and in Indonesia is sometimes referred to as IF-X. As of September 2019, prototypes are under construction with the first of these expected to be completed by mid-2021. The first test flight is anticipated in 2022, with manufacturing scheduled to begin in 2026. South Korea expects to deploy 120 of the aircraft into service by 2032.