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S. Korea's Air Force completes deployment of 40 F-35A fighters: sources

All News 18:13 January 27, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Air Force has completed the deployment of 40 F-35A radar-evading fighters, with four of them having arrived earlier this week, informed military sources said Thursday.

On Tuesday, the four F-35As arrived at an airfield in Cheongju, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, ending a yearslong deployment program. The deployment of the 40 jets was initially set to end by last year, but it was delayed due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a centerpiece of the country's air power, the warplane is expected to boost operational capabilities and strengthen its readiness posture against potential enemy forces, according to Air Force officers.

Despite such expectations, the Air Force has suspended all F-35As since one of them made an emergency landing during a training session earlier this month due to avionic system issues.

The F-35A is the fighter's air force variant, while the F-35B and F-35C are for marine and aircraft carrier-based operations, respectively.

This undated file photo shows an F-35A fighter jet. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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