South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled a full-sized mock-up of its under-development KF-X next-generation fighter aircraft at the 2019 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX 2019).
The KAI KF-X, also known as IA IF-X in Indonesia, is a joint South Korean and Indonesian fighter aircraft development program, intending to develop an advanced multirole fighter for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU).
The project was first announced by the then South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung at the graduation ceremony of the Korea Air Force Academy in March 2001. The program is spearheaded by South Korea, holding 80% of shares, and was joined by Indonesia in 2010 for the remaining 20% of the shares.
The KF-X aircraft will be powered by two GE Aviation F414 turbofan engines, and will be equipped with a Martin-Baker Mk18 ejection seat.
UTC Aerospace Systems will provide the fighter’s complete environmental control system—including air conditioning, bleed air control and cabin pressurization and liquid cooling—along with the aircraft’s air turbine starter and flow control valve. The company, along with South Korea’s KAES Hanwha, will design, develop and produce the main electric power generation system (MEPGS) for the jet.
It was announced earlier this month that Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), has completed Critical Design Review (CDR) for a number of key power and control systems for the fighter jet.
The KF-X is scheduled to conduct its maiden flight in 2022, with planned operational deployment in 2026 replacing South Korea’s aging F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger II aircraft.