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Fourth South Korean KF-21 Fighter Prototype Completes Maiden Flight Test

South Korea’s fourth KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft prototype has completed its maiden flight test, the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced.

During the trial, the Republic of Korea Air Force 52nd Squadron operated the jet for 34 minutes.

The prototype was piloted by an airman from the service’s 3rd Training Wing facility in Sacheon, Seoul.

Two-Seater Variant

According to DAPA, the recent flight test validated the KF-21’s operability in a new configuration.

South Korea’s KF-21 fighter jet. Photo: DAPA

Three previous models of the aircraft only had single seats. The fourth and fifth were developed with two-seat setups.

“Prototype 4 is a two-seat aircraft with two pilots on board, with the cockpit divided into front and rear seats,” a statement from DAPA said.

“As a cockpit is added near the front fuselage, the internal fuel tank space is slightly changed, but the rest of the body has the same shape as the single-seater.”

In addition to the latest test, the prototype’s advanced active electronically scanned array radar was trialed.

The resulting data will be used to differentiate overall performance between the single and two-seater Boramae designs.

Progress in Boramae Development

DAPA noted that the new variant would be employed on future pilot training missions.

Tests for the first and second prototypes were held last year, while the third completed its demonstration last month.

In the first half of 2023, the KF-21’s fifth and sixth prototypes will undergo trials.

“A total of 6 prototypes will expand the flight range and perform aircraft performance verification through continuous flight tests,” the agency stated.

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