South Korea To Develop New Supersonic Air-to-surface Missile For Next-gen KAI KF-X Fighter Jet

South Korea To Develop New Supersonic Air-to-surface Missile For Next-gen KAI KF-X Fighter Jet
Mockup of KAI KF-X Fighter Jet – Credits: Otte News

As we have reported earlier that South Korea Receives First F414 Engine For KAI KF-X Fighter Jet.

Now according to janes recent report, South Korea is planning to develop a new supersonic air-to-surface missile (ASM) that is expected to be carried by the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF’s) future Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) multirole fighter aircraft.

A Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) official told Janes on 30 June that the weapon is expected to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.5, weigh less than 3,000 lb (1.36 tonnes) and have a range of at least 250 km.

No further details were provided about the ASM.

The revelation comes after Janes reported on 28 May that South Korea had recently completed the selection process for the precision-guided munitions and guidance kits it plans to integrate with the KF-X, which is being developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), with PT Dirgantara Indonesia as KAI’s industry partner on the project.

South Korean military officials told Janes on 28 May that Raytheon’s GBU-12 Paveway II, Boeing’s GBU-31/38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), GBU-54/56 Laser JDAM, and GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb1 (SDB1), as well as Textron’s Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) CBU-105 had all been selected for integration with the KF-X.

They said the integration process for the smart bombs and guidance kits, all of which are already in service with the RoKAF, would start later this year, with full integration expected over the coming six to seven years.

The move comes after MBDA Missile Systems announced in November 2019 that it had been awarded a contract for the integration of its Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) with the KF-X.

Also set for integration is the IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) by Germany’s Diehl Defence, with a contract expected to be signed in the near future.

KAI KF-X Fighter Jet

The KAI KF-X is a joint South Korean and Indonesian fighter aircraft development program with the goal of producing an advanced multirole fighter for the South Korean and Indonesian air forces.

The program is lead by South Korea, which holds 80% of shares. Indonesia joined in 2010 for 20%, and the remainder is held by private partners including manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI).

The KAI KF-X is South Korea’s second domestic fighter jet development program, following the FA-50.

As of September 2019, prototypes are under construction with the first of these expected to be completed by mid-2021. The first test flight is anticipated in 2022, with manufacturing scheduled to begin in 2026. South Korea expects to deploy 120 of the aircraft into service by 2032.

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