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Fri Apr 9, 2021, 10:18 AM

South Korea rolls out the KF-21, joining elite group of global supersonic fighter jet makers

By Brad Lendon and Yoonjung Seo, CNN

Updated 3:10 AM ET, Fri April 9, 2021

Seoul (CNN)South Korea unveiled its homegrown supersonic jet fighter on Friday, joining an exclusive club of military aviation giants and setting the stage for a $5.2 billion program it hopes will be a top export driver and jobs creator.

Once operational, the KF-21 jet is expected to be armed with a range of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles -- and possibly even air-launched cruise missiles.

The twin-engine fighters will come in single- and two-seat versions, depending on the missions to which they are tasked.

"A new era of independent defense has begun, and it's a historic milestone in the development of the [South Korean] aviation industry," President Moon Jae-in said at the rollout of the KF-21, nicknamed Boramae, or "young hawk trained for hunting," at the production plant of Korea Aerospace Industries in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang province.



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