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(LEAD) 2nd prototype of KF-21 fighter jet succeeds in maiden flight: arms agency

Defense 15:14 November 10, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, background info throughout; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- The second prototype of South Korea's homegrown fighter jet, the KF-21 Boramae, made its successful maiden test flight Thursday, the country's arms agency said.

It took off from the Air Force's 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul, at 9:49 a.m. and landed without a hitch at 10:24 a.m., according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

It flew at an average speed of 407 kph during the 35-minute flight near the headquarters of its developer, the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), a source said later.

The first prototype of the 4.5th-generation fighter succeeded in its maiden flight on July 19.

The second prototype of South Korea's homegrown fighter jet, the KF-21, makes its maiden flight at the Air Force's 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in this photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Nov. 10, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The second prototype of South Korea's homegrown fighter jet, the KF-21, makes its maiden flight at the Air Force's 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, about 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, in this photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Nov. 10, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

KAI plans to produce four more prototypes that will make test flights in stages from December 2022 till the first half of 2023, DAPA said.

Launched in 2015, the 8.8 trillion-won (US$6.4 billion) KF-21 project is aimed at developing a supersonic fighter model to replace South Korea's aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets.

The country's military plans to deploy 120 KF-21 aircraft by 2032.
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