Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.(KAI) announced that the final assembly of the KF-X prototype is now launched. Final assembly means to put forward/middle/rear fuselage and main wing/empennage together into one whole final aircraft.
This achievement is accomplished only in 4 years. KAI started system development from 2015 Dec, went through PDR(Preliminary Design Review) in 2018, began the first detail part machining on February 2019 and passed the CDR(Critical Design Review) on September 2019.
KAI has fully committed to maximising its development efficiency not only through recruiting around 800 development engineers, but also expanding infrastructure with newly built plants only dedicated to each structure test, system test and composite machining.
KF-X is one of the most important national project to replace current air force fighters and to introduce the next generation fighter that can satisfy the future operation concept of force battlefield. Also, KAI is under localization of major avionics part for product improvement by domestic technology. The mission and flight control computer, equivalent to its brain, will be installed to KF-X for ground test and test flight after the performance test this year.
In addition, the core equipment AESA radar and EW Suite(Integrated Electronic Warfare Equipment), IRST(infrared search and track) and EO TGP(electro-optical targeting pod) are Verify performance through functional check and ground test.
KF-X will be completed by the first half year of 2021 and the first flight test is scheduled to be done in 2022. By 2026, system development is ended.
For deeper study and efficient development, 16 of universities, 11 laboratories and 553 suppliers have participated in KF-X project and 100 additional development engineers will be hired by 2020.
KAI CEO said, “Thanks to great partnership and industry, university and institute collaboration, we could launch the final assembly in covid-19 crisis. There is no way other than success. We will succeed in KF-X and contribute to the Korean aviation industry and national economy.”