HomeInternational GeopoliticsSouth Korea begins concept research to develop a new fighter jet engine...

South Korea begins concept research to develop a new fighter jet engine for KF-21 5th generation fighter

Source : Yonhap

SEOUL: South Korea on Tuesday launched a research project to develop a fighter jet engine by the mid-to-late 2030s as part of efforts to acquire key homegrown defense technologies.

Earlier this year, the country designated advanced aircraft engines among 30 strategic defense technologies it will invest in as part of a 15-year basic plan for defense science and technology.

South Korea begins concept research to develop a new fighter jet engine for KF-21 5th generation fighter

South Korea begins concept research to develop a new fighter jet engine for  KF-21 5th generation fighter
President Yoon Suk Yeol looks at an aircraft engine at defense company Hanwha Aerospace’s office in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, on Dec. 7, 2023, in this photo provided by his office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Through the concept research, Seoul seeks to complete the development of a 15,000-pound-force class turbo-fan engine to be used by a homegrown fighter jet by the mid-to-late 2030s, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

Only a few countries, such as the United States and Britain, possess technology to develop aircraft engines, with South Korea currently lacking the technology to design and manufacture such engines on its own, DAPA said.

“Future battlefields are expected to expand to the air and space (domains),” DAPA said. “If we rely on foreign manufacturers for engines and core parts of manned and unmanned aircraft, it will be difficult to independently improve capabilities.”

South Korea is currently developing the homegrown KF-21 fighter jet, which is set to enter production next year and be delivered to the Air Force starting in 2026. The KF-21 is powered by U.S. company GE Aerospace’s F414 engine.

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