Meteor Integration on KAI KF-X

A CGI of the KF-X equipped with four Meteors and other ordnance on its wings. MBDA

SHAH ALAM: Meteor Integration on KAI KF-X. Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has awarded a contract to European missile manufacturer, MBDA, to integrate the Meteor BVR missile on the KF-X, the future Korean fighter aircraft. The CGI provided showed four missiles being fitted on the lower fuselage of the fighter. A targeting pod is also fitted on the lower left of the fuselage. The CGI also showed the aircraft fitted with two fuel tanks, two JDAM type bombs and two short range missiles.

A CGI of the KF-X equipped with four Meteors and other ordnance on its wings. MBDA


MBDA has been awarded a contract from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the integration of the Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile onto the KF-X future Korean fighter aircraft.

The contract includes integration support to KAI, transfer of know-how and manufacture of test equipment for the KF-X integration and trials campaign.

Meteor is the world’s most advanced air-to-air missile, and has a unique ramjet propulsion system that allows it to fly further and faster than any other air-to-air missile – allowing it to defeat manoeuvring targets even at extreme ranges.

Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “We’re very pleased to mark this next and important step in our partnership with KAI and the Korean Defence Acquisition Program Administration. South Korea is a strategic market for MBDA, and we’re proud that Meteor will be providing KF-X with the world’s most potent air-to-air capability.”

MBDA Meteor missile. MBDA

Based on a recent news reports, the KF-X is equipped with an internal weapons bay though it is unclear whether KAI will also integrate the Meteor in it or whether the CGI is representative of the beast mode where the aircraft is carrying its full load of weapons disregarding the need to reduce its signature like other stealth fighters such as the F-35.
A UK F-35B in a beast mode. RN

What is this got to do with Malaysia then? Nothing at the moment, but around 10 years or so, RMAF will be looking for new fighters and the KAI KF-X should be in service by then and likely will become a contender then.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. KFX for RMAF?. I would Suggest TFX or F/A-XX for Our Next Generation Fighter. Just saying

    Turkey doesn’t have an engine for the TF X. If relations between the country and Nato turned south it’s likely that it will have to find another engine supplier than Rolls Royce

  2. It was their plan from the start to have Meteor and IRIS-T as the main air to air missiles for KF-X. This is in a way quite a significant decision as the korean airforce current missile inventory consists of mainly american air to air missiles.

    Anyway this is the timeline for KF-X

    In 2 years time we will see the rollout of the 1st prototype. They are planning to have the 1st production aircraft by 2026. I wish that we could join the development program for KF-X, but as even we don’t have enough money for LCA/LIFT, I dont think that is possible.

    Anyway moving on to another possible MRCA contender, the Su-57E. In May 2019, putin announced that he has greenlighted the procurement of 76 Su-57 fighters to equip 3 RuAF regiments by 2027. The official order was placed in june 2019 during Army 2019 exhibition in moscow. Russian newspaper kommersant placed the domestic price of each Su-57 at around RUB 160-170, around USD35 million per aircraft. That is actually cheaper than domestic price of the Su-35. As the export value is around double (for example Su-30SM domestic price is around USD24 million), i think the price would be around USD70 million range. In the recent MAKS 2019 air show, United Aircraft Corp. President Yuri Slyusar said that the export version the Su-57E will be ‘significantly cheaper’ than the american F-35. If we go for the current Su-35 export price of around USD90-100 million, I think Su-57E price of around USD70 million is about right.

    @ safran

    TF-X is designed to be a fighter in thr same weight class as the F-22/F-15/Su-30MKM. I dont think the TF-X (unlike KF-X which is planned to be a fighter slotted between the FA-50 and F-35) will be something that we can afford to buy.

  3. …. and Marhalim,

    If You both disagree with TFX, fine but not for KFX due to Our “Neighbour”‘s Issue.

    5th Generation Fighter Is not easy to find Suitable for RMAF since it’s not mature yet and i would Suggest What can we recommand 5th Gen for RMAF. Just saying

    I said it will be a contender, if it’s already in service, not really an endorsement about buying it. Both the KFX and TFX are paper airplanes but the South Korean looks like more than the Turkish one to be in actual service. We will know in 10 years time

  4. @ safran

    Please enlighten me about TF-X. Tell me everything you know about the TF-X. I like to discuss with facts. So far from information out in the open, IMO only 4 5th gen fighter costs that we could probably afford, KF-X, FC-31, Su-57 and the F-35.

  5. The turks basically dropped the ball on KFX. They wanted to join the KFX programme after slew of successes of K2 tanks and K9 SPH localization venture but apparently they wanted full 50:50 partnership while Korea could only offer up to 30 percent partnership, which is fair imo.

    This basically killed the TFX/KFX collaboration. Korea had to scale down their ambition, downgrading the supposed KFX from 5th gen to 4.5 gen aircraft and having indonesia, a much less capable partner onboard while Turkey’s quest for 5th gen aircraft continues to hang in the balance with many western countries refusing ToT and their participation in F-35 project is also in jeopardy

  6. Honestly for both of you.

    Im not crazy bout TFX and 100% not expert but since MINDEF and Mahathir itself are really favour on Turkish Defence. On the other hand, IMO on KFX slightly not be a great idea since like i mention. Our Neighbour might pissed off and it would be better we choose Tempest Or FC-31 by 2035.

    Plus, I would suggest We Should lease the Typhoon or Fill the gap our Hornets from Kuwait or Finland for a while but as always, poli-diots don’t give a … Just Saying.

  7. @…
    SU-57 that cost less than SU-35? Are you sure about that since -57 is going to outperform -35?

  8. @Alex
    You are wrong.
    KFX was scale down to 4.5 gen fighter not because Turkey is out and indonesia is in. It is not about the platform but the tech. Afaik, indonesia is the first who join the KFX and Turkey came later. KFX is built also with Lockhead Martin assitance but LM is not a shareholder. It is part of agreement South korea-US/LM in buying F-35.There are 4 cores tech that US/LM wont give to KFX project. It is all about security and business.
    The Turkey want a big share and finally refused to join because they want tech transfer, production and know they can not get what they want. It is happened to Indonesia too, indonesia want 20% of everything (including tech involved in KFX). Indonesia already involved from scratch, they already get the know how about the platform secret. That is why South Korea is in dilemma and it is how indonesia push they will.

    Your conclusion is too soon. There is no neighbour issue at this moment. Indonesia PT pindad even trying to sell their newly developed medium tank to phillipine. Even if Indonesia not sell KFX to RMAF, there are other fighters that more capable such as F-35 and Su-57. It is indonesia loss if not selling the KFX.

    The problem of buying KFX is RMAF will only 2 sq of MRCA according to CAP55. If RMAF looking for F-35 then the other sq must have an air supriority capability to cover it because F-35 is a strike fighter. Can KFX fill that role?

  9. @ joe

    ” SU-57 that cost less than SU-35? Are you sure about that since -57 is going to outperform -35? ”

    Well, that is what the russian says.

  10. @…
    >”KF-X, FC-31, Su-57 and the F-35.”

    The F-35 is probably the stealthiest of the lot and has the best EW but is less manoeuvrable for WVR action. Also dependent on US politics.

    Su-57 is a highly unknown quantity, and doubts have been thrown on its stealth capabilities. More likely the Russians will keep it for themselves. Dependent on Russian politics.

    FC-31 is, frankly, a prototype. Until it has better engines its speed and payload will be quite limited. Dependent on Chinese politics.

    KF-X is not even prototyped yet, but given Korean technology limitations, it can’t be much better stealth-wise than the Su-57, at best. Doesn’t appear to have significant political issues.

  11. @…
    Well I would be really surprised anyone would still want the -35 now that -57 is available at a cheaper price with better performance. Not sure if the Russians have a export ban on it like a similar one imposed on F-22 tho.

    KFX is starting life as 4.5 gen mainly due to avionics. Once the 5th gen electronics mature, it will be a full fledged 5th gen fighter.

  12. @Chua
    For China there’s also J-20 for 5th gen plane. KFX politics is indirectly tied to US politics as many of its subsystems are from USA or other US allies.

    Given its size I would deduce SU-57 most probably have worse RCS than the smaller F-35 or KFX but certainly better than F-16 / F-18. Tho benefit of having larger airframe is the capacity for more, better, or higher performing EWS.

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