KFX Korean Indigenous Fighter programme

Woody

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I found this on Youtube and a Malasian forum.

Video - Youtube:-



Forum - Mesra.net:-

http://www.mesra.net/forum/index.php?s=cce03bf98331f0ab0758f1dcc62fb3d2&showtopic=55862&st=60&p=3435178&#entry3435178

It shows the wind tunnel testing of a new Korean stealth fighter. The forum website has more images from the Image Shack but I didn't want to copy the ones with obvious copyrights but go there and check them yourselves (upload them if you're braver than me). The Models are described as KFX-101; an F-22 type configuration and KFX-201; a (you guessed it) a stealth canard type (unfortunately with no thrust vectoring evident). Normally I wouldn't bother with such things but the wind tunnel video looked pretty convincing and the (South) Koreans definitely have the motivation to develop their own advanced aircraft. Some images are credited to SWERC a research company of SungWoo engineering. I didn't find any links on this site when I search so started this thread as this is just the sort of thing I'm into and I hope you are too. Anymore info gratefully received.

Cheers, Woody
 

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Woody

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Hi Matej, just found your posting on Above Top Secret so I guess you know all about it. Hope this is still interesting to others. Boeing's involved you say?

Matej's Above Top Secret link:-

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread210391/pg

Korea developing its own plain seams a little inconguous given that the South Koreans are re-opening there fighter request to Boeing and Eurofighter. And why are Boeing be helping if they're trying to sell Korea more F-15s? I hope they're not just pumping the westerners for information (ha-ha).

Thanks to 'Rodger604' for more KFX pictures, a Japanese stealth fighter and BAE Replica for the same Above Top Secret page.

Another Malaysian (I think) forum with KFX pictures (why are the Malaysians so into Korean secret aircraft?) Some pictures are copyrighted 'Defence Times':-

Forum - Outie.net:-

http://outie.net/forums/viewthread.php?tid=22676&page=1#pid260713

Cheers, Woody
 

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Firefly 2

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Woody, doesn't this awafully look like a canard fitted F22 ;D
 

Matej

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A bit complicated thing. KFX was proposed to decrease the dependency on foreign technologies, but paradoxly key elements such as engines, radar and so will be from foreign countries. Also Boeing offered the cooperation on KFX development as the part of F-15 offsets. On the other side, I think that USA with its numerous contingent of soldiers in the South Korea will not accept too much independency.

The main problem is (of course) money. I cant see the way, how ROKAAF wants to find bilions of EUR for the development, especially when there is another huge program KHF (Korea Helicopter Programme).

PS: I realised that KFX-201 looks really big, but in fact it is a small aircraft.
 

flateric

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South Korea has shown this wind tunnel model of a KFX concept. Saab’s proposals have a canard-delta planform. Credit: MONTHLY AEROSPACE/KOREA
 

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flateric

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Firefly said:
Wings look very small ???
That's illusion due to perspective view.
 

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Attached are KFX concepts appeared in 2004 and in an official document released by Agency for Defense Development in this year. Although separated by three years they look the same.

Cheers,
Sunho
 

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Woody

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Thanks guys - very interesting. Are there any other new secret fighter technology projects going on at the mo. I supposed you've all see this:-

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/11/asia/AS-GEN-Japan-Fighter-Jets.php

But I'd be interested in your comments.
Cheers, Woody
 

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Woody said:
Thanks guys - very interesting. Are there any other new secret fighter technology projects going on at the mo. I supposed you've all see this:-

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/08/11/asia/AS-GEN-Japan-Fighter-Jets.php

But I'd be interested in your comments.
Cheers, Woody
As I recall they've already decided it would be too expensive and are considering the Typhoon.
 

Woody

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This much more interesting. Can any of our Nihongin friends give us a Translation?:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRPlnT-PD0A

Cheers, Woody
 

datafuser

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Woody said:
This much more interesting. Can any of our Nihongin friends give us a Translation?:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRPlnT-PD0A

Cheers, Woody
AW&ST's story "Bag of Tricks - Japanese demonstrator project incorporates wide variety of new technologies" written by Bradley Perrett and Kazuki Shiibashi has everything you would want to know. It is in the August 6th 2007 issue.

The Japanese plans to fly a technology demonstrator (not a real fighter) hopefully in ten years to have bargaining power against the US. The technology demonstrator will be powered by two IHI XF5 derivatives developing about 11,000 pounds thrust.

The technology demonstrator is NOT canceled.

Cheers,
Sunho
 

datafuser

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Attached is the conceputal internal structure of the KFX-101 model.

Cheers,
Sunho
 

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TomS

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Triton said:
Model of KF-X.
Is it just me or do the internals bays in this model occupy the same space as the engines?
 
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I agree. It does look as if the engines are immediately aft of the bays with no possible way of airflow getting through to the compressors.
 

Deino

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These are more than dated .. and IMO nor even a bit realistic models.

Here's somethiong a bit more recent and I need to search for the latest ones ... later !

http://www.fyjs.cn/bbs/htm_data/27/1110/620322.html

Deino
 

fightingirish

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Cool, a twin-engined EADS MAKO! ;)

SEOUL AIR SHOW: Eurofighter shares KF-X vision @ The Dew blog by Stephen Trimble
Link: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2011/10/seoul-air-show-eurofighter-sha.html
 
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AAAdrone

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I know SK isn't exactly looking for the perfect VLO design but I don't see why EADS suggested a vertical tail.
 

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AAAdrone said:
I know SK isn't exactly looking for the perfect VLO design but I don't see why EADS suggested a vertical tail.
Because a single vertical tail offers the lowest weight, lowest cost solution. It's a trade-off in the cost vs capability balance sheet. Wanting stealth is one thing. How much stealth is required to meet the mission objectives is another. Without knowing what the LO and cost requirements are, one can't really know if a single vertical tail is a detriment or an asset. From a frontal aspect, a single vertical tail is just as stealthy as a twin tail if designed properly.
 
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Excellent. Now I understand how the design can work out with the engine intakes going around the weapons bay.
 

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datafuser

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AAAdrone said:
I know SK isn't exactly looking for the perfect VLO design but I don't see why EADS suggested a vertical tail.
20 years ago in February 1991, "Europeans suffer Stealth Sticker Shock Syndrome" in Armed Forces Journal International: Volume 128 quoted an ex-RAF officer as shown below.

" an ex-RAF officer - now working in industry - told AFJI: "I cannot see the point in minimizing the RCS from the side, especially when you will be compromising other aspects of performance. He pointed out that in assessed air combat, especially BVR combat, the number of engagements conducted on a side-shoot basis is very low. On that basis, alone, Europeans wonder: Is the extra material worth the cost? "
 

TomS

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That's a cross-section looking aft, not an external three-view showing the aft end of the aircraft. Took me a minute to figure that out too.
 

donnage99

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datafuser said:
in assessed air combat, especially BVR combat, the number of engagements conducted on a side-shoot basis is very low.
That's before the age of stealth and complex net centric driven battle space of today and in the future. These factors increases the complexity of air battle and requires an aircraft to maintain low RCS from all angles in order to survive.
 
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I just based my very first opinion off of the fact that the original KFX model had the F-22 style canted twin rudders so I imagined that they were going for the quality over low cost route.

Also good point donnage99. I never thought of that scenario. I guess that does serve as a solid reason to go for all-aspect VLO especially when they are right next to some very powerful nations that might have access to such NCW capabilities. Then again, Sundog is still right in that we don't know exactly what the South Koreans want so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 

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This is a very interesting project in that it has potential to introduce "economy" V/LO and proliferate stealth after decades of previously costly science and R&D elsewhere. South Korea may well have picked the right strategic moment with regard to knowledge, design and manufacturing capability. I'm slightly less sceptical about their chances for success than perhaps some pro commentators in the media seem to be. Granted, I'm no industry insider, but I also sense there might be some understandable parochial myopia among those who've thus far enjoyed almost unchallenged reign over matters of (somewhat) practical stealth.

I wonder just how many pitfalls they can avoid just by examining the experience with F-35 alone, reading thought experiments like Bill Sweetman's latest (How Much for That Stovl Capability?). KFX looks like a long term investment with not at all everything to do with their all-but-imploded northern counterpart. South Korea, beyond their unique challenges, is much the same as most other somewhat sub-BRIC sized nations with advanced economies. They need not produce "the absolute" global best at any cost but only present a capable threat to anyone seeking targets for opportunistic troublemaking for whatever reason.

Edit: The likes of Lockheed, Northrop and Boeing could be in an awkward position with regard to the applicability of their products to World markets - trying to think years if not decades ahead about what they must be able to offer with regard to others' evolving capabilities and needs. I'm not entirely sure they'd be willing to consider a line of "export only" products, nor can they be thrilled about prospects for projects where they'd be some sort of minority technical partners. There's of course T-50, though that's no 5th gen fighter.

The link with Indonesia is very interesting as well, with their particular strategic considerations, but I have practically no idea about any indigenous aviation industry capability they might have - let alone applicable to stealth. I know economy air travel is experiencing enormous growth in the region now, so there's obvious pressure to develop local technical aviation services and applicable knowhow. It's a huge country (240M people), surprisingly often overlooked for its size, spread out over thousands of islands. But the World has got to get seriously unstable for any realistic enemies to emerge for them.
 
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Stephen Trimble believes that it's a canted twin tail design with a possible 2 engines total based solely off of that profile image. It seems only Eurofighter likes the single vertical tail design.
 

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fightingirish said:
"Boeing sneaks a peek at KF-X design" via Flight Globals Blog "The DEW Line".
To boot, Trimble also wrote a longish introduction into KFX goals recently, link here. Certainly one for the archives. I'm baffled by Boeing and EADS flaunting concepts of their own though, as isn't this supposed to be a majority Korean project with most of the design being indigenous/ courtesy of KAI? Trimble also tenuously attributes one CGI-ish image to Lockheed (it looks the part) which puts them at a particularly odd position, having the opportunity to offer F-35 practically "off the shelf" instead (... at one point I considered whether KFX was just leverage to get the best possible deal on F-35 - but I guess this has gone beyond a mere bluff by now).

It doesn't make it any easier to make sense of all this that there's no clear timeline for images and material the Koreans themselves have released - the "conventional" seeming version with tailplanes is indicated as being "recent" (... it is unclear to me why) while in the latest Korean air show they had a KFX mockup cockpit which clearly features the canard-ed option. Whatever the case, the currently established global aerospace defense corporations have fat profit margins to dip into be it R&D or dividends, at least until they have to adjust - with predictable kicking and screaming - into slightly leaner business models. This could present KAI and the Koreans with problems which go well beyond the engineering kind, a game of "development chicken".

I understand there's very particular equipment that goes with testing V/LO models, so perhaps the Koreans' intent can in part be read by whether they venture to purchase and/or build the capabilities and/or rent any of what can't be too many currently existing facilities?
 

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i can buy twin tails based on the lines of the tail. the leading edge of the tail continues down to meet the top of the wing/horizontal stabilizers. similar to the F-35's twin tail.

if it was a single tail design, the leading edge would stop at the top of the fuselage.
 

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Stargazer2006

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mithril said:
i can buy twin tails based on the lines of the tail. the leading edge of the tail continues down to meet the top of the wing/horizontal stabilizers. similar to the F-35's twin tail.

if it was a single tail design, the leading edge would stop at the top of the fuselage.
Yes. I also think that a single tail wouldn't be so narrow, but I could be wrong.
 

flateric

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I think that half of a page you discussing obvious thing. airplane has twin tail
 

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fightingirish said:
Cool, a twin-engined EADS MAKO! ;)

SEOUL AIR SHOW: Eurofighter shares KF-X vision @ The Dew blog by Stephen Trimble
Link: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2011/10/seoul-air-show-eurofighter-sha.html
Its not that surprising. In 1994, when Aermacchi left the coalition with DASA to develop advanced trainer/light combat aircraft AT-2000 (later MAKO), DASA managed to keep the program alive by partnering with Denel aviation (avionics) and Korean Hyundai (manufacturing of large non-composite parts). So now they are simply continuing in what started in second half of 90s.
 
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