Indonesia, S. Korea to produce KF-X/IF-X jet fighter: Yusgiantoro

Indonesia, S. Korea to produce KF-X/IF-X jet fighter: Yusgiantoro

Purnomo Yusgiantoro. (ANTARA/Eric Ireng)

Surabaya (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and South Korea will immediately commence the production of the 4.5-generation KF-X/IF-X jet fighter, which is forecast to have better maneuvering capabilities than F-16 Eagle and Sukhoi Su-27, stated Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.

"We had conducted the Technology Development Phase (TDP) that comprises the transfer of technology and prototype designing process. Currently, we are entering the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase," Purnomo stated here on Monday.

During the signing ceremony of the EMD Phase, the minister noted that six aircraft prototypes have been produced during the TDP process, one of which will be handed over to Indonesia to be manufactured in the country.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Korean Ambassador to Indonesia Cho Tae-young.

"We want to cooperate with South Korea because they are willing to carry out the transfer of technology to Indonesia for the KF-X/IF-X project that is believed to be at par with the F-22 Raptor," the minister emphasized.

He remarked that despite the advanced nation having developed the F-35 Lightning jet fighter, but the country is not ready to transfer its technology to Indonesia.

Purnomo emphasized that the KF-X/IF-X has the capability to guard Indonesias airspace.

"The KF-X/IF-X jet fighter is sufficient to guard the sovereignty and territory of Indonesia. The most important thing is that we can independently produce the main defense system equipment," the minister noted.

The minister lauded South Koreas cooperation that facilitated the transfer of technology to develop two submarines in South Korea and two others in Indonesia.

Additionally, the Director General for Defense Potential of the Ministry Timbul Siahaan and Director General of Aircraft Program of Defense Acquisition Program Administration Brigadier General Jung Kwan Sun have inked a project agreement for the EMD Phase.

"The agreement covers the appointment of industry in Korea as the main contractor who will cooperate with Dirgantara Indonesia Corporation Limited. It also includes the formation of the Joint Program Management Office between the Indonesian government and South Korea, which will discuss the funding, monitoring, and segregation of each job description," Purnomo explained.

He elaborated that under the project plan, the agreement to manufacture 50 KF-X/IF-X jet fighters will be finalized in November 2015. The minister noted that the EMD Phase will enter the production development phase by 2023.

"Probably, we will design 20 KF-X/IF-X first because the budget for the production development phase is the biggest. The total production development phase budget amounts to Rp85 trillion where Indonesia will contribute 20 percent and Korea 80 percent," the minister stated.

The cooperation for funding will be established between the governments of the two countries.

The minister confirmed that the elected Indonesian government will not affect the long-term agreement as the House of Representatives and government have already agreed on the project.

"I hope the cooperation will continue. I cannot wait for the Indonesian/Korean jet fighters to fly in the skies. Happy birthday to the Indonesian Military," the minister added.

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(T.SYS/A/KR-BSR/F001) 06-10-2014 18:12:04

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