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S. Korea's homegrown KF-21 fighter takes off in 1st flight test

All News 16:05 July 19, 2022

SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's homegrown KF-21 fighter jet took off from a southern Air Force base in its first flight test Tuesday, officials at the state arms procurement agency said.

The fighter carried out its maiden flight from the 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul, where its manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Ltd, is headquartered, according to Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) officials.

The flight time is expected to take 30 to 40 minutes to check the basic functions of the fighter.

The authorities had initially planned to conduct the flight in the morning but delayed it to the afternoon due to weather conditions.

The flight under the 8.8 trillion-won (US$6.67 billion) project came as the nation has been pushing to replace its aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighters with the high-end jet and bolster its airpower to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

In December 2015, DAPA signed the fighter development contract with KAI.

This file photo taken July 6, 2022, shows South Korea's homegrown KF-21 fighter jet moving on a taxiway in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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