KF-21 Boramae Indonesia-South Korea Prototypes Finally Undergoing Ground Tests

KF-21 Boramae Indonesia-South Korea Prototypes Finally Undergoing Ground Tests

The prototypes of the KF-21 Boramae are conducting numerous ground testing at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) facility in Sacheon ahead of their maiden flight next month.

Pre-flight ground tests have been completed in 95 percent of cases, according to KAI. KAI is testing a total of six flyable prototype aircraft and two ground-testing models. Before KF-21 is certified operational, the 6 flyable prototypes will complete approximately 2,000 test flight sorties

The KF-21 Boramae fighter, which is being produced entirely with domestic technology from design to production, is intended to represent a significant step forward in the Korean Air Force's power and the defense industry's development. 


Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
Prototype Unit 3 under load compensation test. Image Source:

It began development in 2016 and, after extensive study and hurdles, succeeded in delivering a prototype in April of last year. Following that, rigorous ground tests resumed, and the exciting first flight test of 'Prototype Unit 1' will take place next month.

The ground test progress rate has been around 50% of the whole test plan up to this point (based on test conditions). However, around 95% of the test conditions for safe flight (SOF) that must be completed before the maiden flight have been completed. A ground run test set to begin next week is expected to fill the remaining 5%. Furthermore, assuming the runway test goes as planned, Prototype No. 1 should take flight for the first time next month.

This is an update after the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) of South Korea announced in November 2021 that it has achieved an agreement with Indonesia. Both countries have agreed on the payments Indonesia will make for the KF-21's development.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)
Engineers check the aerial refueling system during a ground test of the fuel system of the Prototype No. 4 KF-21 Boramae fighter jet. Image Source:

The KF-21 ground test is under underway with six flight prototypes and two rescue prototypes. Each prototype includes a general test as well as a unit-specific test. This is due to the difficulty of completing multiple demanding tasks within the time frame. 

As a result, the 3rd prototype was performing a load correction test at a neighboring structural test building, while the 5th and 6th units were performing a functional check at a different location.

Following a 2015 deal, the countries would split the costs, with South Korea bearing 80% of the burden and Indonesia contributing 20%.

Indonesia is a partner in the creation of the jet, designated the Korea Fighter Experimental (KF-X) project, and has pledged to fund the 8.8 trillion won ($7.8 billion) development costs. In Indonesia, the project is known as the IF-X program. Out of a total of 170 jets, 50 will be delivered to the Southeast Asian country.



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