South Korea Unveils First Unit of Domestically Produced Fighter Jet

KF-21 Boramae adds to South Korea's fifth largest air force in the world.

South Korea Unveils First Unit of Domestically Produced Fighter Jet

Photo: President Moon Jae-in at the KF-21 unveiling ceremony.  Credit: Korea Aerospace Industries.

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) 한국항공우주산업 unveiled the first unit of KF-21 Boramae 보라매, a supersonic fighter jet. With KF-21, South Korea became the eighth country in the world to domestically develop a 4.5-generation fighter jet, 20 years after the Korean government began the country's indigenous fighter jet program under the Kim Dae-jung 김대중 administration.

Boramae 보라매, a northern goshawk, is the symbol of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) 대한민국 공군, the fifth largest air force in the world by number of military aircraft. Comparable to the F-18 of the United States, KF-21 is intended to replace ROKAF’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighters, which make up approximately 30% of South Korea’s 400+ combat aircraft. President Moon Jae-in 문재인 attended the unveiling ceremony held on April 9 at KAI’s production facilities located in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do Province 경상남도 사천, and announced that 120 units of KF-21 will be deployed by 2032.

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