Korean KF-21 Jet Completes First Aerial Refuelling Test; No Extension for Indonesia's Payment Deadline

Indonesia must pay for joint fighter jet by 2026 despite deadline extension request: DAPA
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 11:34 AM, March 19, 2024
  • 1415
Korean KF-21 Jet Completes First Aerial Refuelling Test; No Extension for Indonesia's Payment Deadline
KF-21 Boramae @YouTube

South Korea's domestically developed KF-21 Boramae fighter jet underwent its maiden aerial refueling test on Tuesday, announced by the state arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The Air Force's KC-330 tanker aircraft refueled the KF-21 prototype over waters off the southern coast after takeoff from an air base in Sacheon, 296 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

During the test, the tanker connected its flying boom to the KF-21 prototype No. 5 to transfer fuel, extending the aircraft's operational range by 50%.

"Aerial refueling is essential for modern fighter jets," DAPA stated. "It can expand the KF-21's operational capabilities, especially in long-range missions."

DAPA plans to continue testing the KF-21's aerial refueling capabilities at various altitudes and speeds.

South Korea initiated the KF-21 project in 2015 jointly with Indonesia to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets. Six prototypes have been built, with the first production model scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2026.

Indonesia's Payment Deadline Stands Firm in Joint Fighter Jet Project

The state arms procurement agency reaffirmed Indonesia's obligation to complete payment for their joint fighter jet development project by 2026, despite reports of Jakarta's request to extend the deadline to 2034. The joint KF-21 project, initiated in 2015, aimed to develop an advanced supersonic fighter jet, with Indonesia committed to covering approximately 20% of its cost by 2026. However, Indonesia has fallen behind in payments, accumulating arrears of 1 trillion won so far. The DAPA stated that Indonesia must adhere to the original payment deadline. Talks regarding cost-sharing are ongoing, but specifics were not disclosed. Additionally, the project faced a setback due to an Indonesian engineer's alleged attempt to steal the jet's technologies, prompting a police investigation.

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