KFX fighter (image : Asiae)
Experiment Fail : 'KF-X Project Could Come to a Dead End'
The Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) project of the ROK Air Force could come to a deadlock without key technology transfers from the United States. However, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is claiming that it is not going to happen, because it has the option of technology transfer from a third country.
“The softest spot of the KF-X project is the export licensing policy of the U.S.,” said Choi Jong-kun, a political science and diplomacy professor at Yonsei University, on July 14, adding, “If Korea had to do it on its own due to a lack of technology transfer, the project would not be able to be completed as scheduled.”
DAPA signed an offset agreement in Oct. last year with Lockheed Martin to be supplied with key technology for the project. At present, the export licensing procedure is underway in the U.S. government. It is said that the U.S. government is unwilling to provide the four key techniques, including the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. DAPA said that it would meet the schedule by continuing to talk with the U.S. and cooperating with a third country just in case.
According to the professor, the U.S. might keep its key techniques to itself due to the presence of Indonesia, an Islamic country, in the project. “If Indonesia withdrew from the project in that state, problems could arise in the form of budgetary burdens and a reduction in the scale of the project,” he continued.