Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has contracted Cobham Antenna Systems to provide antenna suite for the future Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) multi-role fighter aircraft.

The contract requires the company to design and deliver a fully conformal antenna suite for KF-X to KAI.

The KF-X conformal antenna suite has been designed to provide a full range of communication, navigation and identification (CNI) functionality for the aircraft in a configuration that reduces drag and life-cycle repair costs, while improving aerodynamics.

Cobham Antenna Systems general manager, vice-president David Bulley said: “Cobham is an established market leader in conformal antenna technology and provides platforms with bespoke communications, navigations and identification antennas, which deliver high performance and reliability.

“The KFX programme is strategically important and this award allows Cobham Antenna Systems to continue to lead the market in the design and supply of airborne antennas and systems for next-generation fighter platforms.”

Earlier in August, Cobham was contracted to supply an undisclosed number of missile eject launcher (MEL) units for KF-X by the end of 2020.

“This award allows Cobham Antenna Systems to continue to lead the market in the design and supply of airborne antennas and systems for next-generation fighter platforms.”

The MEL is designed to carry and release air-to-air missiles from fighter aircraft.

Expected to enter service by 2025, the KF-X is intended to replace the Republic of Korea Air Force’s current F-4 and F-5 fleet.

Under a contract signed between South Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and KAI, the KF-X is being developed indigenously with technological assistance from Lockheed Martin .

The contract will see KAI develop six test planes and complete system developments for the jets by June 2026.


Image: The KF-X conformal antenna suite has been designed to provide a full range of communication, navigation and identification (CNI) functionality. Photo: courtesy of Cobham plc.