By Elifnur Başaran
The KF-21 Boramae fighter jet, introduced by South Korea at the ceremony held on April 9, 2021, made its first flight. According to Defense Acquisition and Program Administration (DAPA) officials, the fighter made its maiden flight from Third Flight Training Base, approximately 300 kilometers south of Seoul. In addition, it was reported that the flight was made for the control of basic functions and lasted between 30 and 40 minutes.
According to South Korea-based Yonhap News, the flight was scheduled to take off in the morning. However, due to weather conditions, the flight was delayed until the afternoon. With the KF-21 fighter jet, South Korea is seeking to replace its aging F-4 and F-5 fighter fleet with high-end warplanes and strengthen its air power to counter North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile threats.
Combining elements of a 5th generation fighter jet, the KF-21 is a new generation fighter jet. The first KF-21 aircraft to come off the mass production line will be 4.5 generation. After the work to be done, it is expected that the aircraft will be updated as the 5th generation.
The KF-21 is planned to replace existing combat aircraft in the South Korean Air Force. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) says that the project is one of the most important national projects that can meet the future battlefield operational concept. The first aircraft in the KF-21’s program is scheduled to enter service by 2025.
The KF-21 multirole fighter is expected to reach a top speed of about 1,400 mph (approximately 1.83 Mach) and have a range of about 2,900 km. However, its maximum take-off weight is 25,580 kg and it has a load carrying capacity of up to 7,700 kg.