The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced the successful completion of the maiden flight test of the KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft’s fourth prototype.
The flight demonstration was carried out from the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF) 3rd Training Wing, Sacheon, Seoul.
DAPA informed that during the recent test, the indigenously developed two-seat KF-21 Boramae took off from Sacheon and landed after remaining airborne for 34 minutes.
The test flight was conducted by only one pilot, despite the aircraft being a two-seater, unlike the first three prototypes of the fighter jet that have a single-seat configuration.
According to DAPA, this flight test aimed to assess and validate the performance, safety and stability of the fourth prototype platform.
The newly tested prototype fighter aircraft will be used in determining the difference between a single-seat and a two-seat aircraft, as well as evaluating if both configurations have any operational impact on the aircraft, according to DAPA.
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The two-seat prototype’s cockpit, which is near the front fuselage, is comparatively more spacious than a single-seat aircraft. DAPA claimed that the latest KF-21 double-seat aircraft will primarily be used for conducting new pilot training missions.
The tests will also help the service to perform active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar avionics tests on both single-seat and two-seat aircraft.
Currently, South Korea has four single-seat units, including prototypes one; two; three; and five, and two double-seated units, notably prototype four and five.
The DAPA is planning to launch the fifth and sixth prototypes in the first half of this year. All six units of this aircraft will further undergo a series of performance verification tests.