South Korea’s KF-21 fighter jets begin night flight test

Defense Media Agency /

South Korea’s next-generation fighter jet, the KF-21 Boramae, completed its first flight test by night. 

On March 2, 2023, KF-21 prototypes 3 and 4 took off from the 3rd Flying Training Wing of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) near Sacheon airport, where Korea Aerospace Industries also operates a facility.  

The flight helped verifying whether the interior and exterior lighting of the aircraft worked normally in a limited light situation, according to a report by South Korea’s Defense Media Agency. 

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

The first aircraft prototype conducted its maiden flight on July 19, 2022. Mass production of the 4.5 generation fighter 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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