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South Korea's KF-X prototype arrives at final assembly
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
The KF-X's mission computer and flight control computer are scheduled to be mounted on the prototype after performance tests this year, in time to perform ground tests. First flight is slated for 2022.

Korea Aerospace Industries began final assembly of the KF-X prototype on 1st Septemberjust four years and eight months after the start of system development in 2016.

The final assembly will connect front, centre, main wing and rear fuselage sections manufactured by various KAI divisions, and when the final assembly is completed, the aircraft will enter the full-scale ground/flight test stage. It has passed the turning point of the entire system development process and is proceeding normally compared to the plan, the company says.

The KF-X project began system development in December 2015, the Preliminary Design Review in 2018, the first parts processing in February 2019, and passed the Critical Design Review in September last year.

KAI recruited 800 new development engineers and expanded the infrastructure through the completion of buildings for the structural testing, system testing, and composite machining. It has also been contributing to the safety of the local economy by hiring about 370 shipbuilders by the end of last year.

In the KF-X project, 16 universities, 11 research centres, and 553 domestic partners are participating together, and KAI will secure an additional 100 development personnel by this year. Major avionics components are being developed locally to improve their own performance with domestic technology. The mission computer and flight control computer are scheduled to be mounted on the prototype after the performance test this year, to perform ground tests.

In addition, the core avionics equipment, AESA radar, integrated electronic warfare equipment (EW Suite), electro-optical target acquisition/tracking equipment (EO TGP), and infrared search and tracking equipment (IRST), will be tested to verify the final performance of the prototype.

KAI plans to complete the final assembly and release the prototype by the first half of 2021, start flight testing in 2022 and complete the system development by 2026.

Contact details from our directory:
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. Airframer
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Airframe Assemblies