The first test flight of South Korea’s KF-21 Boramae fighter jet took place on Tuesday, placing South Korea among a small group of countries that have designed and tested an advanced supersonic fighter.
According to South Korea’s Defense Programs Command, the test flight of the prototype aircraft lasted a total of 33 minutes.
Pilot Ahn Jun-Hyun said that after takeoff “everything went smoothly, so I did the full flight path as planned”. Although the pilot admitted to being nervous before takeoff, he said that after the flight began, “everything went perfectly ».
According to South Korea, the jet is the first of a fleet of six KF-21 prototypes to be produced by Korea Aerospace Industries. Between now and 2026, when mass production and development begins, the fleet will undergo more than 2,000 test flights in order to perfect the design.
By the year 2030, it is expected that the South Korean Air Force would have received a total of 120 KF-21 aircraft.
The KF-21 will be armed with a variety of air-to-air, air-to-surface, and later cruise missiles. Single and two-seat versions of the twin-engine fighters will be available soon.
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