South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that the first prototype of the Korean Aerospace Industries KF-X fighter jet has entered final assembly at the company’s facilities at Sancheon.
The final assembly process will see the prototype’s wings mated to it fuselage, keeping the program on track for the first airframe to be rolled out in April 2021, and for test flights to start in 2022.
As a partner in the development of the KF-X, Indonesia is due to receive one of the six prototypes in exchange for footing 20 per cent of the development cost. But reports indicate Indonesia is still lagging in its contributions to the program, having paid just A$264.5 million of its planned A$847 million so far.
The twin-engined KF-X features low observable shaping and precision manufacturing techniques designed to give it a low radar cross-section, but will carry its weapons externally or semi-recessed in the lower fuselage.