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KAI unveils stealthy design for KF-X

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posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled a moderately stealthy small fighter design, based on the T-50/FA-50. It's both smaller, and less ambitious than the twin engine designs previously released. It's known as the KF-X-E.

It's believed that since it won't be competing with the F-35, as it's not as stealthy as either the F-22 or the F-35, but it will be stealthier than the F-18, or the Typhoon. It has characteristics of the F-16, but it's a departure from the design, which was used for the T-50, with the assistance of Lockheed Martin.

It appears that it will be limited as far as radar, due to nose volume, but the rest of the airframe appears to have more volume for fuel, and other necessities.


Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has published a drawing of a moderately stealthy fighter concept based on its T-50 series of supersonic trainers and light-attack aircraft. The concept aircraft is far smaller and less ambitious than the all-new, twin-engine KF-X designs promoted by the Agency for Defense Development, the leading proponent of building an indigenous South Korea fighter.

Some South Korean industry officials doubt that the country has the technical resources to build the KF-X, especially if major civil aerospace programs go ahead at the same time; a 90-seat turboprop airliner is also proposed. But a KF-X derived from a current type would demand less engineering and may benefit from stronger pricing by avoiding competition with the Lockheed Martin F-35, although Saab is already in the market for advanced but moderately sized fighters with its Gripen E/F.

The T-50 and its FA-50 light fighter derivative are themselves based on the F-16 and were developed with help from Lockheed Martin, but the stealthy concept, called KF-X-E, departs from the F-16 planform used for the earlier aircraft. Some wing and fuselage edges are parallel, and the trailing edges of the main and tail planes are swept forward. The fuselage sides have chines. Nose volume of the KF-X-E appears to be small, limiting the size of the radar antenna, but the airframe seems to have more volume overall than the T-50, offering more space for internal fuel and thereby minimizing the need for external tanks and their radar reflections.

Retention of the single tail on the KF-X-E is emblematic of the limited ambition of the designers, who appear to have aimed at achieving a level of stealth above that of the Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet but well below that of the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35. The latter two, like other stealth aircraft, have canted twin tail fins.

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posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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This thing is going to have to be very cost effective if it's going to have any place in the world it will be in by the time they finally start production, if they even decide on this design in the end.

It looks great and everything and it will probably be, I just feel like it's a bit late on the scene if you know what I mean?

I don't see any info giving me any real estimate of the specs or price or anything.
So this is like just a concept. It's a really good idea.... about 5 years ago.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:10 AM
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You know that's very smart.

This would be perfect for emerging 3rd world countries that can't afford f-22 or f-35.

They should joint with south korea and sell them.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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Is this meant to compete with and outpace something like the Saab JAS 39 Gripen ?

We are talking like the 50million $ range of fighters possibly?
edit on 25-7-2013 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


One reason they aren't trying to compete with the F-35, and are keeping it moderately stealthy is to keep the costs down. This would be great for a smaller country that can't afford an F-35 fleet, but wants or needs a stealthy platform. The modifications to the F-18 are only going to be able to reduce the RCS so far, and the other platforms out there in the same range as this design aren't really stealthy.

reply to post by grey580
 


Exactly. If this does get built, it would be perfect for those smaller nations without the budget for a full up stealth fighter. It keeps them at least in the ballpark as nations that do get stealth aircraft.
edit on 7/25/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Probably somewhere between the $50M-70M range. It probably won't be as light as the Gripen, but certainly won't be as heavy as the Lightning.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Probably somewhere between the $50M-70M range. It probably won't be as light as the Gripen, but certainly won't be as heavy as the Lightning.


I dunno.
If I was a mid-level dictator I would look more into Gen 4 stuff for a fleet.

Something like the JF-17 Thunder at 15-25 million or anything comparable really.

Just making conversation not saying I spend all day imagining what I would do as a dictator.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by grey580
You know that's very smart.This would be perfect for emerging 3rd world countries that can't afford f-22 or f-35.
They should joint with south korea and sell them.
Yep that would make more sense just the way the Russians have collaborated with Chinese on many programs (though not sure how much they benefitted). They do have the resources in SK and talent.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


The problem then becomes how easy it is to detect and kill 4th gen fighters now. Even a 4++ fighter could pretty easily take a regular 4th gen aircraft. You have to have at least a 4.5 now if you want to survive for any length of time.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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plasma stealth ftw



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 12:11 AM
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I saw this exact design years ago, right after the F-35 started production. It's pretty cool looking but the difference between the vertical tail and slanted tails is night and day to radar. The flat edge will pretty much negate the entire jet in my opinion.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


It won't affect frontal RCS, and that might be all the requirement calls for.




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