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DAPA unveils first images of KF-X design with Meteor Missiles

Republic of Korea’s arms acquisition agency unveiled June 29 the preliminary design of the KF-X fighter aircraft.

The disclose of the preliminary KF-X design came after the Defence Acquisition Program Administration, (DAPA), held a preliminary design review (PDR), to decide whether to proceed to the next phase of critical design review (CDR).

Four Meteor long-range air-to-air missiles developed by MBDA are shown to be nestled under the fuselage, while two IRIS-T short-range guided air-to-air missiles are mounted on respective wingtip launchers.

The DAPA originally preferred fitting the KF-X aircraft with U.S. weapons systems, such as AIM-120 and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, but the U.S. government has yet to approve the export license of the missiles, according to DAPA officials.

The project aims to produce more than 120 cutting-edge fighters to replace the aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s. A first flight is planned in 2022, with testing and evaluation to take place until 2026.

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