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South Korean Joint Chiefs add second engine to KF-X

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posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 09:49 AM
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The South Korean Joint Chiefs may have effectively killed the KF-X program, by adding a second engine to the requirements. That increases the size of the aircraft to roughly the same as a Typhoon, and the cost to roughly 8.5 trillion Won, and 10+ years to develop. The single engine version would have been 6.7 trillion, and roughly 8 1/2 years to develop.

That puts it higher than the 6.5 trillion that the finance minister has agreed to so far, but lower than the 10 trillion Lockheed Martin estimated for the F-35. That means that there is a good chance the finance minister will be able to get the votes to deny funding for a full scale development starting in 2015.

There are a lot of politics involved, and the shuffling, and juggling is amazing to watch.


The South Korean armed forces have quashed an attempt by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to reduce the cost and technical challenge of the proposed KF-X fighter, with the joint chiefs of staff determining that the indigenous aircraft must have two engines.

The decision raises the stakes for KF-X, the earliest prospective fighter program for Western engine and system suppliers. With a twin-engine design, the program will be ambitious and hard to launch rather than something modest with a more assured future.

South Korea’s air force is already hedging its bets by studying the possibility of importing its next batch of fighters, judging that the KF-X is not likely to go into full-scale development, according to an air force officer quoted by the Segye newspaper in May (AW&ST June 2, p. 29).

aviationweek.com...




posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 09:58 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This is comical. Why not just buy an F35? How much more economical will it be to build a knockoff?

That said. I find it hilarious that South Korea needs 2 engines, but Canada is all good with only one. Some big difference in size of airspace there.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:03 AM
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a reply to: Sparkymedic

It's more to do with the bigger airframe than the size of the airspace. If you have a bigger airframe, then later upgrades and modifications become both cheaper, and easier, and you have a lot more flexibility. For example, let's say that you come up with an EODAS system, a new radar that's slightly larger, and a new communication system.

With a small single engine airframe, you get one, because of both electrical power, and room to expand. With a larger, twin engine airframe, you can get at least two of those, possibly all three, which improves the abilities of the aircraft.

As for the F-35, they want them, and are talking about 20 more of them. But they're doing a three stage fighter replacement. This aircraft, even developed indigenously, until the overruns start, will be cheaper than the F-35 would be.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Cool, thanks for the perspective. Well best of luck to them. The KF-X seems like it'll be quite the aircraft. I wish Canada had the ability/ willingness to produce an indigenous aircraft, again. And actually use it.

That said, the F35 seems like quite the aircraft. But it does seem like she has her issues. I suppose the same could have been said about the teen fighters when they were in development as well.

Time will tell.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: Sparkymedic

It has some technologies on board that are going to be hard to fit onto any other aircraft. But they're also hard to fit on it, because they're being miniaturized to a degree. Which is why it's having problems. They'll get it in the end though.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 02:42 PM
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2025 is along time away for korea, and i would assume the tensions between the north and south aren't getting better any time soon.

With the lightning being where it is in its development, troubled as it might be the facilities and logistics are in place and geared up. Why wouldn't Korea just spend/take the 2 billion loss and get what they want now?

With Americas pivot to Asia i would think it would work out well for both parties.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 02:47 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

They actually invalidated the first choice that was made last year, because the choice was NOT the F-35, which is what the Joint Chiefs really want, at least some of. So they're going to get some F-35s, but they're probably looking at almost 2020 for even those. But they don't want to limit themselves to a one trick pony air force.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Do the S.K participate in red flag or similar events? also i wonder how much they rely on US air power to augment there own forces. i mean they just recently flew B-2's on what i assume would be practice bomb runs(even if the wheels were down + its two escorts)


seeing as SK is a pretty big fan of the US(at least militarily) do they get the real/non-export version of the F-35
edit on 30-7-2014 by penroc3 because: cant type



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

The exercises are usually held over Korea, and their territory. The US units stationed in Korea occasionally come to Red Flag, and other exercises here in the US though.

The B-2 flew with two escorts in close formation, with the escorts landing gear down for a very good reason.

As for the F-35, everyone that is buying it is getting the "real" version of it, the differences will be in electronics and weapons carried.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

for the b-2 why give NK a free peep show/practice with radar
i took it as the us and sk saying "look we have tactical bombers on call from guam"

why buy the f-35 if they take out all the goodies that would make it what it is? are sk air crews trained by the US or is that all in house? if they change parts of the weapons and electronics i would think the us air crews would be at a disadvantage with out there normal kit. other then jdams/SDB,aim-9x and aim-120 what else would they need?

if i remember correctly i think they were working on a solid state laser for the weapons bay.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:12 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

They're not taking out all the goodies that make it what it is, they're customizing it for their their AOR. Take some of the European countries. I think it was the Netherlands, they're developing a new stealthy antiship missile that their aircraft will carry. The UK wants to have theirs carry Meteor. Israel is putting IAI developed EW systems on theirs. The main systems will still be the same, it's just subsystems and some weapons that will change.

As for the B-2, there is a big difference between a B-2 trying to hide, and a B-2 not trying to hide. Why give unfriendly countries a chance to see what that radar signature is if you don't have to? What better way than to tuck a couple of F-16s in close, with their gear down to make them stand out even more. Now you have one huge radar signature, instead of letting them get an idea of the B-2 RCS.

Korea has an extremely close relationship with Lockheed Martin. LM even helped them develop some of their own indigenous aircraft such as their T-50, which they've talked about offering for the T-X program here in the US. There will be some training here in the US, and some in Korea.



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

interesting they are tight Lockheed.

not to go simi off topic but with china's new ballistic carrier killer as they seem to think it is, do you think that type of launch method is the future of anti-ship warfare? it has to have hypersonic warheads i think hitting a moving ship with one is a whole other game. but it would seem that ship defenses would easily counter harpoons or cruise missiles compared to a hypersonic warhead coming straight down like the d-21 does.

im not to familiar with the relationship as it stands with china and NK, but if it all hit the fan china would step in to keep there buffer zone, the Su-30 and su-27 would give american forces a run for there money. i doubt BVR engagements wouldn't help very much against modern air forces like china



posted on Jul, 30 2014 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

BVR is not what people think it is. If you look at numbers, BVR kills are a tiny percentage of air to air kills.

That new Chinese missile is scary as hell TBH. It's going to completely change things in the Pacific.




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