South Korea plans to deploy 120 homegrown fighter jets by the year 2032.
President Moon Jae-in announced the plan Friday during a rollout ceremony for the prototype of its first indigenous fighter jet, the KF-21.
Moon congratulated the engineers and other officials behind the feat, saying it has opened an era for South Korea's defense.
The first flight test is scheduled for 2022, with full development set to be complete by 2026.
"We plan to deploy 40 jets by 2028 and a total of 120 by 2032. We now have our own advanced supersonic fighter jet made domestically. We have become the eighth in the world to do so. A new era of self-defense has begun, and it's a historic milestone in the development of the aviation industry."
65 percent of the KF-21 components are made domestically.
Some 12-thousand jobs were created in the development phase alone, and when mass production begins, the project is also expected to create another 10-thousand jobs along with added value of over 5 billion U.S. dollars.
Moon said that he expects the KF-21 project to make aviation one of South Korea's growth engines.
The government has set a goal to become the world's seventh largest in terms of aviation in the 2030s. We will boost our self-reliance in key technologies like fighter jet engines. We will also invest in new innovative technology, such as electric and hydrogen planes, and urban aviation mobility.
South Korea first laid out its vision for a homegrown jet in 2001 and carried out years of research.
In 2015, the country started working on the project, worth 7.9 billion dollars, in partnership with Indonesia which agreed to fund 20 percent of it and receive 50 out of the 170 jets in total.
There had been speculation that Jakarta might be seeking to quit the project as it was overdue in payments, but the country's defense minister was present at Friday's ceremony.
Moon thanked Indonesia for its trust in South Korea in the fighter's joint development saying Seoul will work with Jakarta to make inroads into other markets.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.