21 April 2011

Indonesia and South Korea Sign Definitive KFX Agreement

21 April 2011

KFX - medium fighter aircraft with 4.5 generation technology (photo : hangkong)

Indonesia to invest $10 million in Korea's fighter project

Indonesia has offered to pay $10 million toward a feasibility assessment of an indigenous Korean fighter jet development program, a defense official said Wednesday.

“Korea’s Agency for Defense Development signed a contract with Indonesia’s state-run weapons agency, Balitbang, on the exploratory development of the KF-X project,” said Chung Jae-yoon, spokesman of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The KF-X project refers to Korea’s multirole fighter development program that was initially announced in 2001, but then stalled for 10 years.

Under the agreement, Chung said Indonesia will pay 20 percent of the initial study costs for the KF-X project in exchange for allowing 30 of its researchers to participate in the project here over the next two years.

In July last year, Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea to invest in the project in return for acquiring around 50 KF-X fighters.

"With the formal agreement with Indonesia, our plan to jointly develop the fighters with international partners is expected to go smoothly," the official said.

Korea's Air Force has been pursuing the KF-X project to help replace its aging F-4/5 fighters.

DAPA plans to select a prototype by late 2012.

Wednesday's deal came less than two weeks after Indonesia selected South Korea as a preferred bidder for its project to buy trainer jets.

The two sides have yet to complete negotiations on price and other details. If a final deal is sealed, it will allow South Korea to export its T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet for the first time.

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