The second prototype of South Korea’s homegrown fighter jet, the KF-21 Boramae (formerly known as KF-X), made its successful maiden test flight Thursday. It took off from the Republic of Korea Air Force’s 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul, at 9:49 a.m. and landed without a hitch at 10:24 a.m. It flew at an average speed of 407 kph during the 35-minute flight near the headquarters of its developer, the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), according to the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The first prototype of the 4.5th-generation fighter succeeded in its maiden flight on July 19.
The KAI KF-21 Boramae is a South Korean fighter aircraft development program, with Indonesian involvement, with the goal of producing an advanced multirole fighter for the South Korean and Indonesian air forces. The airframe is stealthier than any fourth-generation fighter, but does not carry weapons in internal bays like fifth-generation fighters, though internal bays may be introduced later in development. 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% are held by private partners including the manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The KAI KF-X is South Korea’s second domestic fighter jet development program, following the FA-50.