Indonesia, S. Korea postpone cooperation on fighter jet development: official

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JAKARTA, Feb. 28 — An Indonesian senior official said on Thursday that process of cooperation between Indonesia and South Korea in jointly developing advanced fighter jet was postponed due to transition of power in South Korean government.

“It will be postponed in one and a half year because the recent transition of power in South Korean. The new president had just been inaugurated in that country. The new government needs more data to convince the parliament,” Pos Hutabarat, defense potential director general at the Defense Ministry said in a seminar discussed defense industry in the country held here.

He added that that the postponement on the joint project in developing the 4.5 generation of fighter jet codenamed KFX/IFX will take into effect from January this year until one and half year to come.

“The joint projects will resume in June 2014,” he said.

Indonesia contributes 20 percent from overall funds needed to finance the joint project. The lion part would be fulfilled by South Korean state firms.

The KFX/IFX fighter jets will eventually be codenamed F-33. The plane is said to have capability slightly below U.S. stealth fighter jet F-35 which is recognized as 5 generation combat aircraft.

Under the initial agreement, the fighter jet would be produced in 250 units. Indonesia will get 50 ones from the production by 2020. East of the plane is estimated to require 70 to 80 million U. S. dollars in the making.

“We could get the fighter jet for 50 to 60 million U.S. dollars each because we are taking part in the development of the brand new plane,” Pos said as quoted by the detik.com.

He said that Indonesia has sent 30 engineers to be involved in the works to design the plane in South Korean defense facility.