South Korea’s KF-21 fighter jet conducts ground tests ahead of first flight

Korea Defense Blog /

A KF-21 fighter prototype was spotted undergoing ground tests at Korea Aerospace Industries’ facility near Sacheon airport, South Korea. 

Footage shared on YouTube on July 4, 2022, shows the aircraft crossing a road that has been closed to traffic. It then proceeds to taxi at high-speed along a runway. 

Located south of the country, Sacheon Airport (HIN) houses the headquarters of Korea Aerospace Industries, which develops and manufactures the upcoming 4.5 generation fighter jet. The 3rd Flying Training Wing of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is also based in the vicinity of the airport. 

The KF-21 Boramae is a result of the long-running KF-X development program, a joint development between South Korea and Indonesia. Another partner of the project, GE Aviation supplies F414 engines used on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Saab JAS 39E/F Gripens.  

According to KAI, the maiden flight of the prototype is scheduled for the end of July 2022, and mass production will commence in 2026. The ROKAF hopes to receive 120 KF-21 fighters by 2032 to replace its aging fighters, namely the F-4E and F-5E. 


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