South Korea Showcases its F-35A Stealth Fighter Jets to Public for First Time

South Korea has showcased its newly-acquired F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jets to the public for the first time during the Armed Forces Day ceremony on Oct. 1.

A total of four Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) F-35s were displayed at the event held at the Air Force’s 11th Fighter Wing base in the southeastern city of Daegu. The event was presided over by President Moon Jae-in.

South Korea has so far received eight F-35As, beginning with two in late March, under a 2014 deal, worth about $6.4 billion, to acquire a total of 40 fifth-generation jets through 2021. By the end of this year, South Korea is expected to introduce 13 F-35As, with 14 more arriving next year.

South Korea is now in process to acquire 20 additional F-35s under the second phase of its procurement plan, code-named F-X III, according to a report submitted by the country’s arms procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), to the National Assembly on Oct. 7.

F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather, fifth-generation stealth multirole fighters designed and developed by Lockheed Martin to perform ground attack and air superiority missions.

It has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant.

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