South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has confirmed plans to locally develop a long-range air-to-ground missile to arm the KF-21 fighter jet.
DAPA will be investing KRW 190 billion ($145 million) from this month until 2028 for the development project.
“The long-range air-to-ground missile is the core armament of the KF-21 fighter jet, which can precisely attack the enemy's key targets hundreds of kilometers away, and is the first air-launched guided missile developed with domestic technology,” the agency said in a release.
Unlike ground / sea-launched missiles, air- launched missiles remain unexplored due to the lack of safe installation and separation technology on aircraft. The development of guided missiles could begin in earnest, the DAPA said.
The development will be promoted by the Defense Science Research Institute. LIG Nex1, Hanwha Defense, Hanwha Aerospace, and Korea Aerospace are expected to participate in the project.