KF-21, The second prototype [Provided by DAPA]
South Korea on Thursday succeeded in maiden test flight of the second prototype of its home-grown supersonic fighter jet, the KF-21, less than four months after the successful test flight of the first prototype, raising hope that the country would become the world’s eighth to own supersonic flight jets.
The second prototype controlled by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI)’s test pilot Jin Tae-beom took off from the Air Force’s 3rd Flying Training Wing in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province at 9:49 a.m. and safely landed at 10:24 a.m., according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).
The aircraft flew 35 minutes without a hitch with an average speed of 407 kph near the headquarters of KAI, the jet developer. KAI plans to continue test flights by using the two prototypes.
The DAPA said that four more prototypes, including two twin-seat aircraft, will be produced for test flights in stages from December 2022 until the first half of 2023.
It carried out a successful test flight of the first prototype in July.
With the latest successful test flight of the country’s first supersonic fighter jet, Korea has moved a step closer to becoming the world’s eighth country to own a homegrown stealth aircraft. Only seven countries in the world have their own supersonic fighter jets including the United States, Russia, China, Japan, France, Sweden, and Europe consortium.
Korea’s former president Kim Dae-jung orders the country to develop an advanced fighter jet in November 2000.
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