Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has started producing parts for the KF-X fighter aircraft. The company announced on Feb. 14 that it started bulkhead processing at its headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province. A bulkhead is a structure that is designed to prevent an aircraft from being deformed due to pressure generated by high speed flights.
KF-X is an advanced multirole fighter aircraft being developed for the Korean Air Force and Indonesian Air Force under a joint South Korean and Indonesian program.
Currently, KAI has completed 15 percent of the total design drawing for KF-X and will complete more than 80 percent after September when a detailed design review is completed. KF-X passed a system requirement review and a system function review in 2016. System development for the aircraft started in December 2015. In 2018, the outline of the aircraft is finished through a basic design review. Since then, development has been proceeding smoothly as planned. A KF-X prototype is scheduled to come out in April 2021.
KF-X is designed to meet the conditions of future battlefield operations expected by the Korean Air Force, It is one of the largest R&D projects in Korea. Based on the technology accumulated through the development of the T-50 and the FA-50, KAI is not only developing its mission and flight control computers but localizing major avionics sensors. KF-X is expected to be able to actively cope with changing future battlefield environments through smooth military logistics support when successfully developed.
In addition, the KF-X project is expected to play an important role in revving up the Korean aviation industry in terms of technology accumulation and job creation. The KF-X project currently involves a total of 112 institutions -- 16 domestic universities, 11 research institutes and 85 companies. When the development of the prototype gets in full swing, an additional 35 institutions will join the project.