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Diehl to work on integration of IRIS-T missile onto KAI aircraft

20th February 2024 - 14:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The MoU covers the collaboration of marketing efforts for KAI fighter aircraft, such as KF-21, equipped with Diehl Defence missiles. (Photo: KAI)

Diehl BGT Defence’s IRIS-T (IR Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled) short-range air-to-air missile has seen service with 10 countries.

Diehl Defence and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) have signed an MoU which will see Diehl’s IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missile integrated onto the South Korean company’s FA-50 and KF-21 Block II fighter aircraft.

The purpose of the agreement was the joint goal of integrating the IRIS-T missile into FA-50/T-50 and KF-21 Block II aircraft.

In addition, the MoU will cover the collaboration of working groups on marketing efforts for KAI aircraft equipped with Diehl Defence missiles. Finally, both companies agreed to investigate the possibility of modifying or further developing missile systems from Diehl Defence for South Korea’s indigenous aircraft programmes.

Diehl Defence and KAI have previously worked together combining Diehl Defence’s experience and capabilities in the field of development, production and integration of missile systems, utilising KAI’s history of launching and managing military aircraft programs.

The collaboration began in 2017 with the start of the integration of IRIS-T into the KF-21 Block I fighter.

The FA-50 has been sold to South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Poland. The KF-21 will replace South Korea’s F-4E Phantom II and F-5E/F fighters. By 2028, the Republic of Korea Air Force expects to have 40 KF-21s in service (Phase I) and 120 by 2032 (Phase II).

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