South Korea’s KF-21’s airframe is as stealthy as any fourth-generation fighter. However, many wonder if it’s going to be a significant game-changer in the military aviation world, or simply a costly project.
Here are five interesting facts about Korea’s new fighter jet:
1. The plane’s development kicked off in 2010 when North and South Korea were on the brink of war
Artillery fires were being exchanged over the 38th parallel, and the Korean government realized a new jet in their arsenal. Thus, it pushed the program, determined to get some serious firepower for a conflict that has been looming for approximately 50 years.
2. Several variants were proposed for the new Korean jet
First is the C103, a two-engine jet that resembled an F-35, and the C-203 resembling a Eurofighter, or the future Chinese J-20. The C-501 was also proposed, a least complex version with a single engine. In the end, the C-103 was chosen.
3. The KF-21’s features are gamechanger
The plane is powered by two GE-F414 engines, further development of the engine used for the Super Hornet. It roughly also had the same dimensions as an F-35. The design is quite similar to the F-22 and the F-35 mainly because they’ve partnered with Lockheed.
4. The weird thing about the KF-21 is that it lacked an internal weapons bay
This led to many people questioning whether or not the plane was that stealthy. However, internal bays would be introduced later in development.
5. The KF-21 might be the perfect alternative jet for many countries
The plane’s price tag is significantly lower than its US and European counterparts.