South Korea’s KF-21 Boramae Refuels From KC-330 During Historic First AAR Test | Aviation

Kf 21 Refueling Dapa.jpg

The KF-21 during the refueling test with a KC-330 (Image credit: DAPA)

A prototype of the South Korea’s domestically developed KF-21 Boramae carried out the first aerial refueling test.

On Mar. 19, 2024, the fifth KF-21 prototype was refueled from a KC-330 multipurpose aerial refueling transport aircraft during the type’s first aerial refueling test.

“KF-21 prototype 5 took off from the runway of the 3rd Air Force Training Wing at 9:45 a.m. today and successfully performed an aerial refueling flight over the South Sea,” said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in a public statement.

The possibility to refuel an aircraft mid-air is crucial to expand the operational range and on-station time of modern aircraft, especially those that don’t carry external fuel tanks to keep their LO (Low Observability).

The KF-21 aerial refueling test began on Mar. 8, when a preliminary inspection assessed the control characteristics of the flying boom of the tanker refueling and its compatibility with the KF-21’s receptacle. Then, on Mar. 19, a flight test was conducted over the South Sea by connecting the refueling boom of a ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) KC-330 tanker to the KF-21 aerial refueling receptacle and transferring the fuel.

During the flight test, the DAPA focused on confirming and evaluating the impact of turbulence occurring behind the tanker and boom, the safe connection and separation from the tanker, and the aerial refueling function such as fuel transfer.

Another image of the KF-21’s first AAR test. (DAPA)

“The success of this aerial refueling flight test is significant in that…

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