South Korea Boosts Air Defense with Acquisition of 20 New F-35A Stealth Fighters

South Korea has formally declared the procurement of 20 new F-35A stealth fighters. The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) verified on December 27, 2023, that a letter of acceptance had been signed with the US government for the purchase of the advanced Lockheed Martin-manufactured fighter aircraft. This agreement follows the US government's approval in September 2023, which allowed for the acquisition of up to 25 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighters. 


The new aircraft are slated to join the South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) fleet from 2027 onwards, supplementing the 39 F-35As already in operation. DAPA has stated that the incoming F-35As will have enhanced weapons operation and security capabilities compared to the existing fighter jets. 

Save Money 728x90

The decision to procure these fifth-generation fighters is in line with South Korea's three-axis defense system, which includes the Korea Massive Punishment & Retaliation (KMPR) system, the Kill Chain preemptive strike system, and the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) anti-missile shield. DAPA has commented that the F-35A is a crucial element in transforming the Korean three-axis system into a game-changer, addressing North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles, and balancing power with neighboring countries.


The first batch of F-35As was domestically delivered and deployed between 2019 and 2022. The additional fighters from the second project are expected to exhibit significantly improved performance, including enhanced threat response capabilities, encryption/security functions, and armed operation capabilities. In addition to this, South Korea is also working on its own fighter jet, the KF-21 Boramae, in collaboration with Indonesia. The mass production of the KF-21 fighter is expected to begin by 2026.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3
EN - 728x90