United Arab Emirates Officially Joins South Korean KF-21 Fighter Jet Program Replacing Indonesia

While Poland is considering joining South Korea’s fighter jet development programme, the United Arab Emirates has done so. The aircraft is called the KF-21.

The UAE has already purchased South Korean-made K239 Chunmoo multiple rocket launchers and Block II level M-SAM air defence systems. In the case of the KF-21, the Middle Eastern state will pay for Indonesia’s share of the programme.

The Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates have signed 40 memoranda. They involve $30 billion in investments in South Korean companies from the defence, nuclear energy and other sectors.

The development of the KF-21 is nearing completion. In the summer of 2023, the sixth (last) fighter prototype made its maiden flight. The aircraft was in the air for 33 minutes with Meteor missiles, but did not perform launches.

Korea Aerospace Industries has previously tested Meteor and IRIS-T missiles. Air-launched ballistic missiles like Russia’s Kh-47M2 and Israel’s Rampage are expected to be developed for the KF-21.

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