South Korea shows off new jet fighter as its arms sales surge

SEOUL: South Korea’s newly developed fighter made its debut at a protection exhibition the place the nation showcased its high-tech navy {hardware} that has been a lot in demand since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The KF-21 made by state-run Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd was displayed Monday in Seoul as part of the Seoul Worldwide Aerospace & Protection Exhibition that runs by means of many of the week. The fighter with stealth traits has been about 10 years in growth. It’s designed to conduct deep strikes into adversarial territories, in response to safety specialist publication Janes.
The airplane, often known as the Boramae, is seen as a extra inexpensive different to Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 Lightning II. It will likely be utilized by South Korea’s navy and bought abroad — with mass manufacturing slated for subsequent 12 months and deployment in 2026.
KAI didn’t launch info on the value of particular person plane. Poland, which has been a significant purchaser of South Korea weaponry, has proven an curiosity in becoming a member of the event of the fighters, South Korean broadcaster MBC reported.
South Korea additionally plans to show eight different airplanes and navy helicopters in addition to artillery methods on the expo.
South Korea’s protection exports final 12 months totaled about $17 billion as of November, up from $7.25 billion in all of 2021. Main patrons embrace international locations which have for many years relied on stockpiles of ageing Russian weaponry, like Poland, however have seen that lots of these methods aren’t any match for the weapons deployed by the US and its allies.
South Korea was the world’s ninth largest exporter as of the top of 2022, in response to knowledge from the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute. Poland, which borders Ukraine, has been the largest buyer for South Korean arms for the reason that struggle began, shopping for gadgets that embrace tanks and self-propelled artillery.
In the meantime, Washington appears to be permitting ally Seoul to promote to states in locations like japanese Europe as US protection contractors race to fill orders for weapons that may go to Kyiv, Tel Aviv and Taipei, which is staring down threats from China.
The US Air Pressure is trying to have a B-52H Stratofortress contact down in South Korea along with the exhibition, US Forces Korea stated Monday. The go to could be the primary of its kind for the bomber designed to ship long-range strikes, together with these with nuclear weapons, in response to Yonhap Information.
No date has been given for its arrival however the transfer is definite to anger North Korea, which has threatened retaliation towards the US and South Korea for bringing American nuclear navy property to the area.

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