According to the CEO of Korea Aerospace Industries, KAI will hold a launching event of the Next-generation stealth fighter jet in the second week of this month. Starting 2028, KAI will begin the export of the KF-X aircraft based on its competitiveness in price.
“It takes about 100 billion won to 200 billion won to acquire one F-35 fighter jet. Lockheed Martin aims to bring down the price to $80 million per unit, but the maintenance costs are so high that even the US is considering to develop new 4.5 generation fighters or upgrade existing fighters,” said Ryu Kwang-su, head of aircraft program division.
“KAI aims to set the price of KF-X fighter at $65 million with minimized maintenance costs. Our analysis says that such price range will offer KF-X a competitive edge in the global export market.”
Ahead of a rollout of its next-generation KF-X fighter jet, Korea’s main-bourse listed KAI laid out strategies at a press conference on Friday on how it will raise the revenue from this year’s projected 3 trillion won ($2.6 trillion) to 10 trillion won by 2030.
Above all, KAI expressed a determination to reignite aircraft exports this year, which had been dealt a massive blow from the coronavirus outbreak.
“Last year, KAI was this close to exporting three Surion choppers to Indonesia, but the deal was called off due to COVID-19. Also, KAI was in a favorable situation to export Surion choppers and KT-1 basic training aircraft to the Philippines, but the country sliced defense budget amid the pandemic,” Ahn said.
“This year, we are hoping to export two FA-50 advanced trainer jets to Thailand. Also, we are concentrating our efforts to export FA-50 jets to Columbia and Malaysia.”
The pandemic also almost crippled the company’s much-anticipated KF-X project.
The KAI KF-X is a joint South Korean and Indonesian multirole fighter aircraft development program with the goal of producing an advanced multirole fighter for the South Korean and Indonesian air forces.
The airframe is stealthier than other 4th generation fighters but does not carry weapons in one or more internal bays like 5th generation fighters.
on 1 March, 2021, South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced that assembly of the first prototype of the Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) fighter aircraft is almost complete, with manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) set to formally roll out the platform in April.
A total of six prototypes are in the final stages of assembly at the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) headquarters in Sacheon, Gyeongsang Province. Test flights will be carried out next year, following ground testing after the April roll-out.