RI sending KFX jet-fighter production team to South Korea

Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is sending a KFX warplane production engineering team to South Korea as part of a cooperation agreement between the two nations to produce jet-fighters, a defense ministry official said here on Monday.

The team is composed of personnel from the Indonesian Air Force, Bandung-based Institute of Technology (ITB) and Indonesian aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI).

Defense Ministry Secretary General Rear Marshal Erris Heriyanto said the team received an award from Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro here on Monday.

Erris said that Indonesia and South Korea had agreed to cooperate in the production of KFX warplanes in Seoul, South Korea, on July 15, 2010.

Virtually, the KFX jet-fighter production project is an old project by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) which only now could it be realized.

The idea of the project came from South Korean President Kim Dae Jung on March 2001 to replace older planes like F-4D/E Phantom II and F-5E/F Tiger.

Compared with F-16, KFX is projected to have an attack radius 50 percent higher, better avionic system and better anti radar (stealth) capability.

Erris said that Indonesia tried to do its best to meet its need for main weaponry system, including in the development of warplanes.

Therefore, Indonesia agreed to cooperate with South Korea, he added.

On the occasion, the two sides agreed that 80 percent of the funding would borne by partner country while the remaining 20 percent by Indonesia.

He said that the cooperation for the development of the 4.5 generation warplanes would be carried out in three stages, namely technological development in the 2011-2012 period, engineering and manufacturing and the third stage is the production phase.

Erris said that both sides agreed to produce some 150 to 200 units of KFX of which Indonesia would get 50 units.

"The three units would meet the need of three combat air-borne squadrons," he said.