Diehl Defence, Korea Aerospace Sign MoU to Advance IRIS-T Missiles Integration for FA-50, KF-21 Block II Jets

Both companies will explore modifying or advancing Diehl Defence's missile systems for Korea's indigenous aircraft programs.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 05:16 AM, February 20, 2024
  • 1793
Diehl Defence, Korea Aerospace Sign MoU to Advance IRIS-T Missiles Integration for FA-50, KF-21 Block II Jets
KF-21 Boramae stealth fighter fires IRIS-T air-to-air missile, April 2023 @DAPA

German missile maker Diehl Defence and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), the manufacturer and authority on FA-50 series and KF-21 combat aircraft, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to intensify their integration and marketing efforts for the IRIS-T missiles on FA-50 and KF-21 Block II aircraft.

The agreement, signed during the visit of Kang Goo-Young, KAI CEO, as part of a Korean trade delegation to Berlin, aims to explore the joint integration of the IRIS-T missile into FA-50/T-50 and KF-21 Block II aircraft. This follows a prior agreement made during ADEX 2021, indicating both companies' interest in collaboration.

As part of the MoU, working groups will be established to focus on marketing efforts for KAI aircraft equipped with Diehl Defence missiles. Additionally, the agreement includes an investigation into the potential modification or further development of missile systems from Diehl Defence for Korea's indigenous aircraft programs.

Diehl Defence, Korea Aerospace Sign MoU to Advance IRIS-T Missiles Integration for FA-50, KF-21 Block II Jets
MoU signing between Diehl Defence and KAI on February 19, 2024.

Diehl Defence and KAI have a history of collaboration dating back to 2017, with the initiation of the integration of IRIS-T into the KF-21 Block I fighter. Notably, the company reported the successful firing of the IRIS-T air-to-air missile from South Korea's KF-21 Boramae fighter during tests conducted on April 4, 2023, a mere 10 months after the first flight of the fighter program.

The IRIS-T missile has already found integration into various aircraft, including the Eurofighter Typhoon, JAS-39 Gripen, F-16, EF-18, F-5, and Panavia Tornado.

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