23 Agustus 2014
KFX C-103 two engines type (image : Kodef)
GE Korea has pledged to transfer engine technology if it is selected to take part in the government's "KFX" fighter jet project.
"As the shipbuilding industry contributed to the growth of Korean industry, GE Korea hopes to provide the best cooperation in supporting the Korean government to make its next growth engine in the aerospace industry," said GE Korea President and CEO Khang Sung-wook during a press conference at the Westin Chosun Seoul, Thursday.
"GE could provide high-technology oriented products and business knowhow accumulated throughout the world to Korea."
The government is aiming to manufacture "F-16+ class" fighter jets that are envisioned to enter service from 2023.
Khang asked for the government to take the lead, saying it was difficult for private companies to fund development and emphasizing the government's contribution to the shipbuilding industry in the past.
GE officials didn't mention details about what its investment would be, but said it could provide similar assistance as in the past.
It previously assembled the F404 engine for the T-50, Korea's first indigenous supersonic trainer, locally.
GE also transferred major manufacturing lines to Korea for the LM2500, the engine for Aegis destroyers, as well as the T700-701K, a co-developed engine for the Surion utility helicopter.
So far, GE Korea sold some 1,300 engines for some 600 military aircraft including helicopters and 400 engines for civilian planes here.
GE's Korean unit also said it would play a main role in exporting fighter jets.
With some 300,000 employees in more than 160 countries, GE plans to utilize this global network to actively support the Korean aircraft export programs.
The company pledged to push the T-50 Golden Eagle as one such program.
In the past, GE worked with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in its frigate export program to Thailand. It also provided its engine technology to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to assist in exporting the FA-50 (the ground attack variant of the T-50) to Indonesia, Iraq and the Philippines.