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Indonesian Participation in South Korean KF-X Fighter Program Hits Snags Over US Tech Transfer

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posted on Feb, 8 2017 @ 01:33 PM
Some quick background for those who might not be aware. South Korea is working on a fifth gen (aspirationally , at least, may end up a 4.5 gen) fighter to allow it to both develop its own tech base and have an aircraft that can keep up with both the Japanese Stealth aircraft coming out and the Chinese. They bought the F-35, but want another locally made (buy local, folks!).

The South Koreans have been worried about the costs of the program though. They originally reached out to Turkey and Indonesia to share the burden of development, cost and otherwise. Turkey ended up opting out and went with their TFX program. Indonesia has stuck with the South Koreans. However, the program has had its issues with tech transfer from the US. Several technologies were not approved to be transferred to South Korea the RoK was counting on and now there is another, related issue:

The partnership between South Korea and Indonesia to jointly develop the Korean Fighter Xperiment/Indonesia Fighter Xperiment (KFX/IFX) fighter aircraft has run into problems over licensing approvals.

Indonesia's deputy minister of foreign affairs, Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir, said in comments published on 7 February by state-owned news agency Antara that the United States government has not yet approved the export of some technologies to support the co-development programme.

This relates to the third-party transfer from South Korea to Indonesia of technologies to facilitate Jakarta's involvement in the KFX/IFX programme.

An aside, the Brits have signed on to help the Turks develop their TFX. The Turks have been trying to avoid working with the American companies for the tech transfer headaches the South Koreans have been facing. BAe might have some issues though given its dual Brito-American status. We'll see.

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