Seoul: South Korea’s Air Force has completed the deployment of 40 F-35A radar-evading fighters, with four of them having arrived earlier this week, military sources informed on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the four F-35As arrived at an airfield in Cheongju, 140 kms south of Seoul, ending a years long deployment programme. The deployment of the 40 jets was initially set to end by last year, but it was delayed due the Covid-19 pandemic, Yonhap news agency reported.
As a centerpiece of the country’s air power, the warplane is expected to boost operational capabilities and strengthen its readiness against potential enemy forces, according to Air Force officers.
Despite such expectations, the Air Force has suspended all F-35As since one of them made an emergency landing during a training session earlier this month due to avionic system issues.
The F-35A is the fighter’s air force variant, while the F-35B and F-35C are for marine and aircraft carrier-based operations, respectively.