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  • ​First ROKAF F-35As arrive in South Korea

​First ROKAF F-35As arrive in South Korea

The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has received its first pair of Lockheed Martin F-35As in South Korea.

Seoul’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) confirms that the two aircraft arrived on 29 March, landing at Cheongju air base at 14:00 local time.

So far, the Korean air force has received six F-35As, which have been serving at the type’s training centre at Luke AFB Arizona. DAPA indicates that deliveries for Seoul’s 40 aircraft order will run into 2021, with eight more to fly to South Korea in 2019.

The two jets bear the registrations 18005 and 18006.

A video on local media shows the two F-35As flying in formation with five other ROKAF types: the McDonnell Douglas F-4, Korea Aerospace Industries T-50, Boeing F-15K, Lockheed Martin F-16, and Northrop F-5.

The delivery sees South Korea become the third Asia-Pacific nation to receive the type in country after Japan and Australia.

The F-35A won Seoul's F-X III fighter competition in 2014, beating an advanced version of Boeing's F-15 dubbed the Silent Eagle as well as the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Offsets related to the F-35A are helping to develop South Korea's indigenous fighter, the K-FX.

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