KF-21 Prototype Carries Out First Aerial Refuelling Test

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A prototype of the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter jet successfully conducted its first air-to-air refuelling (AAR) test on March 19, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The fifth KF-21 prototype took off from an air base in Sacheon and was refueled by a Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) Airbus KC-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) via its Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS).

“Aerial refueling is an essential capability for modern fighter jets, It can expand the KF-21’s operational range and time to maximize the Air Force’s combat capabilities, such as in long-range missions,” the DAPA statement read.

DAPA will continue testing the KF-21 on its AAR capabilities at various flight altitudes and speeds. Six prototypes have been built thus far with the first production model slated to be delivered to the ROKAF in the second half of 2026.-shp/adj/dl (Pix:DAPA)