Korean KF-X Fighter Program

p2prada

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The Koreans have two prototypes undergoing tests.

KFX-101


KFX-201


This program is 4.5th generation aircraft, it is something like the EF-2000 and with a range that is between the F-16 and a souped up F-15K. It is currently unknown if the aircraft will have an internal weapons bay.

They want a 2 x100-110KN engines or a single 200+KN engine like the F-35. It is not expected to be as advanced as the F-35, but will be more advanced than current 4th gen aircraft. It is expected to replace the fleet of F-5s starting from 2020.

The initial budget for the program, R&D and buying around 200 aircraft is said to be $8Billion+. Final costs may be well over $15Billion IMO. South Korea will fund 60% of R&D. Indonesia is a partner in the program and will share 20% of the program costs. Korea is looking for a third partner like Turkey(preferably), the US or a European country to fund the remaining 20%.

Actual program is to start in 2013, first flight in 2016 and initial induction in 2020.

IN FOCUS: South Korea outlines strategy for indigenous fighter

DEFENSE STUDIES: Turkey Could Join Korea's KF-X Fighter Program
 

ice berg

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How soon until some fanboys show up and claiming canards will ruin the "stealth" characteristics?:lol:
 

Defcon 1

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The first model resembles AMCA. Anyways great thread for future reference. I request the mods to make it sticky.
 

p2prada

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Hmm, it was working before. Anyway, its in the link provided.
 

mikhail

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i think we should join the Koreans in this project after all the koreans have a decent reputation as a technological power in the international market!if we can co-operate in this project,with the expertise of HAL and the Koreans i am pretty sure that this aircraft will turn into a lethal beast in the near future!and in this way we can also learn some technological things which we can then apply in the development of AMCA!:rolleyes:
 

p2prada

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The KF-X isn't a full fledged 5th gen fighter. The Koreans are only looking to build a Rafale class fighter, maybe with internal bays. Nothing more. That's why their budget is small for the project.

AMCA is far more advanced. Meaning, the KF-X is guaranteed to be inferior to the F-35. AMCA, not necessary when it comes to stealth.
 

sesha_maruthi27

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The pics are not visible and the website concerned with the pics says it is forbidden........
 

W.G.Ewald

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How soon until some fanboys show up and claiming canards will ruin the "stealth" characteristics?:lol:
A link to that discussion is here:

Do Canards Effect Stealth? New Chinese Fighter - AnandTech Forums

I was looking at China's new stealth fighter and was wondering how the Canards would effect its stealth performance. My thinking is now that stealth is more based around different angles than absorbent materials - Canards are a weird variable to control.


The canards appear only in lower photo. Are they in a "swing-wing" configuration?

Anyway I found a link to a discussion on canard efficiency.

Aeronautical Engineering: canard's overall efficiency compared to conventional aircraft, tail dragger, tandem seating

It does appear to me that pound for pound, horsepower for horsepower, that the canard designs somehow quite significantly beat more conventional airplane designs. It seems to be true whether the canard and comparable plane are tandem seating, side by side seating, two passenger, four passenger, and whether the traditional craft is tricycle or tail dragger. There appears to be some secret here beyond the usual explanation of the canard taking some of the lift load requirement from the main wing, and the fact that perhaps the canard is better in that it is uplifting rather than downpressuring as some would suggest is the case in a traditional design. Is there some large, frequently overlooked explanation for the canards overall outperformance over traditional designs?
 

indian_sukhoi

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Engine Propulsion will likely be the difficult one to master. They might opt for F-15 engines to fit in or more advanced versions, for now.

It seems there is no internal weapons carriage. Designing new aircraft with internal payload is not a big challenge, that requirment could change in between.

The KF-X isn't a full fledged 5th gen fighter. The Koreans are only looking to build a Rafale class fighter, maybe with internal bays. Nothing more. That's why their budget is small for the project.

AMCA is far more advanced. Meaning, the KF-X is guaranteed to be inferior to the F-35. AMCA, not necessary when it comes to stealth.
In that case, Co-development with Korea is useless

The Best part about Joint development is, tech transfer and help will come in much faster. Whereas the Worst part is Different countries have different requirements ans has to match thier needs

With Korea disagreeing with equal partnership in the development of KF-X, Turkey and Indonesia might face problems matching the requirement or in transfer of technology. Not to forget maintenance.

F-35s to replace F-15s whereas KF-X to replace F-4s and F-5s.
 

p2prada

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Engine Propulsion will likely be the difficult one to master. They might opt for F-15 engines to fit in or more advanced versions, for now.
They have two options. Go for a single engine like the F-135 that's on the F-35 or they may go for 2 x F-414 class engines. Their requirement is 200KN. So, overall the aircraft is a Rafale/EF class fighter.

It seems there is no internal weapons carriage. Designing new aircraft with internal payload is not a big challenge, that requirment could change in between.
Conformal weapons bays to carry 4 missiles on the side of the aircraft's fuselage with the inlets turning inside the aircraft towards the center to provide for the space. Or just conformal weapon stations like what's on the EF-2000.

In that case, Co-development with Korea is useless
Turkey and Indoensia may join in.

Not India, of course. We have our own plans.
 

indian_sukhoi

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They have two options. Go for a single engine like the F-135 that's on the F-35 or they may go for 2 x F-414 class engines. Their requirement is 200KN. So, overall the aircraft is a Rafale/EF class fighter.
About the engine part, Do Korea has any plans for developing a indigenous Turbfan engines?

Other than F-135s, Are they any others engines that produce 190KN
 

p2prada

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About the engine part, Do Korea has any plans for developing a indigenous Turbfan engines?
No. They are looking at options. EJ-200, F-414 and F-135 come to mind. But I am pretty sure the Koreans will push for export of F-135 if they choose the F-35 in the FX-3 deal. F-35 isn't doing particularly well in the Korean competition from their media reports. But if they go for F-35, there are chances of getting the F-135. If they go for EF-2000, EJ-200 may have the brightest chance.

If we disassociate the FX-3 deal with the KF-X engine purchase, like the case with LCAs engines and MRCA deal, then we can say EJ-200 and F-414EDE have the greatest chances. No idea if France will jump in with the Kaveri K-10 or the M88-3.

Other than F-135s, Are they any others engines that produce 190KN
None. Only Type 30 and F-119 may come close, for low bypass engines. Commercial airlines have such high thrust engines though. But those are high bypass engines.
 

p2prada

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Whats difference between this 2 models
Canards, two engines vs one engine. They are both two completely different aircraft under the same program. Like the YF-22 and YF-23 or YF-16 and YF-17 (which was later extensively modified into the F-18).
 

SajeevJino

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Indonesia has confirmed that a joint programme with South Korea to develop the K-FX fighter will be delayed for 18 months.


In a statement, Indonesia's ministry of defence says the programme's engineering and manufacturing phase has yet to receive approval from South Korea's parliament. Jakarta was informed about this via a letter from Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).




DAPA attributed the delay to the recent elections in South Korea in December 2012.

The engineering and manufacturing phase, which will include the production of prototypes, is the second of three phases for the K-FX programme. The programme's first phase focused on technology development and was completed in December 2012. The third and final stage involves joint production and joint marketing of the aircraft.

The technology development phase saw the two countries establish a joint research and development centre in South Korea, to which Jakarta contributed 37 engineers.

The statement adds that Seoul will not cancel the programme owing to the "huge sums" already spent on K-FX. The entire programme is forecast to cost $5 billion, with Jakarta committed to footing 20% of development costs.

The K-FX is envisaged as fighter that will be more advanced than the Lockheed Martin F-16C, yet lacking some of the capabilities of the F-35.

Seoul hopes to use offsets garnered from the yet-to-be decided 60 aircraft F-X III competition to help develop the K-FX. Contestants for the F-X III include the F-35, Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle and Eurofighter Typhoon. Sources say Seoul could announce a winner by the middle of 2013.

Indonesia confirms 18-month K-FX delay
 

p2prada

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Seoul Plans Phased-Development, Typhoon-Size Fighter
By Bradley Perrett
April 29, 2013
Bradley Perrett Seoul and Jeongseon, South Korea

At the top level, a foreign partner will be needed, probably the winner of F-X Phase 3, which means Boeing, Lockheed Martin or the Eurofighter partners. Most South Korean advocates of the program play down the intended role of outsiders. The KF-X will be led by South Koreans, they emphasize. Indonesia, which has contributed engineers and 20% of the funding since 2011 and proposes to order 50, is a junior partner, which is why the aircraft is sometimes called KF-X/IF-X. Attempts to enlist Turkey failed, partly because the South Koreans insisted on leadership; other partners are possible, but none have appeared so far.

Throughout its long gestation, KF-X has faced repeated objections: that it is unaffordable, or at least unjustifiable; that the country lacks the skills to develop it, or at least has too few engineers, especially if it pursues civil airplane and military helicopter programs at the same time; that the U.S., as a technology supplier, would seek to block KF-X sales; and, perhaps above all, that the South Korean fighter cannot offer much that is not already on the market at a lower price.

But backers, particularly ADD, present KF-X as the keystone in South Korea's future military aviation development. It would not just be a home-produced fighter; it would become the host aircraft of South Korean combat aircraft systems, such as sensors and weapons, promoting wider advances in the defense industry. South Korea would be in complete control of its configuration, not needing foreign permission to integrate its systems, as it has for the T-50 supersonic trainer and its combat variants.

In evolving the design and program, ADD has sought to address doubts about South Korea's technological capacity and the aircraft's technological adequacy. In 2009, the developers acknowledged that South Korea could not build a fully stealthy aircraft, equivalent to the F-35. They relaxed the radar cross-section to the level of such aircraft as the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon.

That radar cross-section is likely to be in the range of 0.1-1 sq. meters (1.07-10.07 sq. ft.), compared with 1-10 sq. meters for old F-4 Phantom and F-5 Tiger fighters in South Korean service, says a former air force officer who has been involved in planning for KF-X and other programs. KF-X's intended cross-section "is low enough," he says, pointing to an official but unpublished study showing gaps in the coverage of North Korean surveillance radars when dealing with such a target. Those gaps exist even without electronic countermeasures degrading the performance of the radars, the study shows.

While the designers relaxed the stealth specification, they notably did not much change the aircraft's external shape and configuration, the foundation of low radar cross-section. The KF-X kept classic stealth features such as parallel edges and surfaces, forward fuselage chines and curved engine inlet ducts. That has allowed ADD this year to propose reintroduction of high-grade stealth in later KF-X versions. Block 2 would have more stealth coatings, radar-absorbing structural materials, tighter control of gaps, "integrated" (presumably flush) aerials, and a weapons bay. It would be as stealthy as an F-117, ADD estimates. Further, unstated improvements would advance Block 3 to the level of the F-35.

These improvements would be added with new systems. So KF-X would, in the end, significantly outperform current fighters—just not immediately.

Since settling on moderate stealth, ADD has been studying two main variables in its design: the number of engines, and the location of horizontal stabilizers. It has settled the first issue—the aircraft will have two engines—but the second issue will depend on the origins of the experienced foreign partner. The KF-X will have conventional aft stabilizers, following concept Design C103, if a U.S. company helps develop it; and forward stabilizers, for Design C203, if a European partner is chosen.

Size appears to have been set by the choice of two engines, the preference of the air force. "We do not have a rubber engine," says an engineer familiar with the project, meaning that the designers must choose one off the shelf, not have one designed for their specification. So they see available afterburning thrust as 17,700 lb. (from the General Electric F404), 20,200 lb. (from Eurojet EJ200) or 22,000 lb. (from GE F414). The Snecma M88 is not mentioned as a candidate.

The thrust ratings straddle what is available to the Typhoon, and so it is not surprising that the airframes, for both C103 and C203, have been sized for an empty aircraft mass very close to that of the European fighter. Reflecting the great volume typical of stealth designs (partly because snaking inlet ducts demand a bulky fuselage), C103 and C203 each have more internal fuel than the Typhoon.

Also relying on airframe volume, the designers are contriving to work a weapons bay into the Block 2 version. In the Block 1 variant, four Raytheon AIM-120 air-to-air missiles are mounted in recesses under the fuselage, a favorite approach introduced by the Phantom's designers about 60 years ago (see cover photo). Those missiles must move inside the bay for the Block 2 KF-X; there is not enough space to have both a bay and external under-fuselage weapons. Provision for the weapon bay will be in the Block 1 aircraft, ADD says, which must mean that internal equipment will be packaged in some way to easily make space available.

Six more hard points for weapons and other stores are on the wing, the outer two available only for Raytheon AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missiles. ADD's drawings show the others with air-to-ground weapons: GBU-39, GBU-53, CBU-105, GBU-31, GBU-38 and GBU-24 guided bombs and AGM-65 missiles. External fuel tanks are an option for the inner pair of hard points, and models show cruise missiles mounted in those positions, too. There are no wingtip hard points, presumably to restrict radar reflections, but models show sensor pods on the lower corners of the fuselage.

A gun is mounted internally above the left inlet duct.

The prime sensor for KF-X will be a radar with an active, electronically scanned array. A foreign radar will be installed first, while a later version of the fighter will be outfitted with a set based on work that South Korean electronics company LIG Nex1 is undertaking. The designers are also specifying an electro-optical targeting system, an infrared search and track sensor, data link, GPS-INS navigation, "advanced threat warning and countermeasures" and internal electronic countermeasures.

The cockpit will incorporate a helmet-mounted display, a head-up display and multifunction head-down displays. In integrating electronics and weapons, the program intends to follow Western design standards, hence the advantage that KF-X, if built, will hold over Chinese and Russian rivals. Introducing new U.S., European or indeed South Korean equipment should be easier.

The wing of the C103 (tail-aft) version has full-span flaperons and leading-edge flaps for variable camber. The planform is a diamond shape, with 40 deg. leading-edge sweep and 10-deg. forward sweep for the trailing edge.

When the C103 and C203 designs were discussed in February, there was a hint that the two-seat option had been rejected, along with such variants as a single-engine aircraft. But ADD's latest description of the aircraft does show a version with a second seat that replaces the forward fuselage fuel tank. Although the U.S. has decided that simulation obviates the need for a trainer version of the F-35, a second seat is becoming popular again in other fighters for a reason that was familiar decades ago but then fell out of fashion: two people can handle the work of a combat mission more easily than one.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_04_29_2013_p46-571780.xml
 

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