KFX fighter at ADEX 2015 (photo : gukjeknews)
Lockheed staff will visit Seoul
Lockheed Martin officials will visit Korea this week to discuss the transfer of technologies related to the country's KF-X project, the development of an indigenous fighter.
Lockheed Martin officials will visit the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) this week," said spokesman Col. Kim Si-cheol, Tuesday. "Working-level officials of the company and DAPA are checking on the progress of the U.S. government's inspection into the transfer of 21 technologies to Korea."
Kim, however, showed a subtle change from his existing position that the transfer of the 21 technologies, stipulated in an offset deal, including a flight control system, was a done deal.
He said it is a contractual obligation for Lockheed Martin to transfer technologies worth $1.41 billion, noting that although the company is changing the types to be handed over to Korea from the original list, it should be valued at the agreed amount.
The remark was construed to mean the list of technologies to be transferred could be changed after the U.S. government inspection.
The KF-X project, which calls for developing fighter jets by 2025 to replace the Air Force's fleet of F-4s and F-5s, faced a big setback in April after the U.S. government refused to allow Lockheed to transfer four core technologies related to the F-35, including the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, to Korea for security reasons.
Amid growing criticism at the time, DAPA Minister Chang Myoung-jin said that the U.S. government vowed to approve the export of the remaining 21 technologies.
The transfer of 25 technologies, including the four, was an offset deal in return for Korea's purchase of 40 F-35s.
Kim added that the KF-X will not have a radar-evading stealth function, but the technology to reduce radar cross section (RCS) will be applied.