China ‘not afraid of falling behind’ on military technology, analyst says

China is not afraid to be discriminated against in the military, says analysts, after South Korea last year launched a 4.5-year-old planned aircraft, as the two countries look at various export markets.
The new KF-21 Boramae is a highly advanced fighter designed for South Korean and Indonesian air forces to replace their aging ships. Boramae means little hawk in the Korean language.
With 65 percent of aircraft coming from South Korea, the country – the closest to the United States – is now the eighth-largest country in the world to have the expertise needed to develop a high-performance fighter jet.
At Friday’s launch, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said “a new era of self-defense has begun, and it is a milestone in the development of the [South Korean] aviation industry”.

South Korean vice-president Lim Se-eun said earlier that the country was set to become the world’s seventh largest aircraft manufacturer by 2030, Forbes reported.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in says “a new era of self-defense has begun”. Photo: Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in says “a new era of self-defense has begun”. Photo: Reuters
According to media reports, Boramae is expected to make its first test trip in 2022, and production will start in 2026. At least 40 jets are scheduled to be shipped by 2028, while South Korea expects to use 120 by 2032. .
After joining the air force, it will be several years before the plane is ready to fight.

Jon Grevatt, an aerospace expert and Asia-Pacific defense analyst at Jane, said the development of the KF-21 model was “mid-term” and would take another five years to complete its development.
Once the plane is completed, it will give South Korea a strategic border as it will reduce the country’s reliance on imported technology, he said.
“The US has previously rejected the authorization of exports to South Korea with state-of-the-art technology. But now with its flights, South Korea no longer has to rely on anyone else, ”said Grevatt.
“This well-respected aircraft, once operational, will give Seoul the power to generate energy as South Korea is a very dangerous country,” he said, referring to North Korea.
North Korea fired two projectiles into the sea late last month, the South Korean military said, in what would be the first missile test since Joe Biden became US president.

Zhou Chenming, a military expert based in Beijing, said that while South Korea still has a very advanced jet pilot, China is not afraid to go back.
It will take many years for the KF-21 to be fully operational and the strength of the Chinese air force will also improve over time, he said.
China developed a fifth combat site known as Shenyang FC-31 or J-31. The flight model may have been redesigned last year, according to a photo shared online at the time.
Grevatt said the KF-21 was expected to have no negative impact on China’s export markets as the two countries looked at separate buyers.
“South Korean airlines are generally considered to be more expensive than Chinese ones, but they are certainly more efficient,” he said.
“For that reason, I am not sure if it will have a direct impact on the sale of airlines in China, as they are unlikely to go to the same type of customers.

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