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KFX Korean Indigenous Fighter programme

chuck4

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Indeed, and f-2 was much less risky because basic design work was already done by Lockheed as the agile falcon, and Japanese aeronautical industrial base was already much stronger, more experienced, and more comprehensive back in 1980s than Korea's is now.
 

SlowMan

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chuck4 said:
I think even if officially cancelled now, some form of KFX will probably be resurrected between now and 2020 because that is what Korean nationalism and the aspiration to finally become something of an independent regional military power in its own right
It is the necessity that's driving this project, not some industrial nationalism.

The simple fact is that there is nothing out there that Korea could buy off the shelf, a supercruising A2A low RCS fighter that is cheap enough to be bought and operated in hundreds of units to counter an armada of 1500 Chinese fighters over the Yellow Sea and North Korea.

But whatever form KFX takes I think probably won't be much cheaper per unit
The low purchase cost is not important.
The low maintenance and operations cost, which can amount to three times the purchase cost over 30 years, is what really matters. And a locally sustained jet costs a fraction of an imported jet.

I might have wondered why South Korea didn't approach Russia, as she did with her satellite launch rocket project. Russia would have been a much more valuable partner in any collabrative fighter project than either Indonesia or Turkey.
It would most likely have to do with Russia putting all its eggs in the PAK-FA basket and not having an immediate plan for a smaller PAK-FA like the Mig-29 supplementing the Su-27 in the 80s.

TaiidanTomcat said:
The Mitsu F-2 comes to mind. A very expensive home grown F-16
Mitsubishi F-2, otherwise known as the Agile Falcon, was forced upon Japan, when Japan wanted to go alone.

chuck4 said:
Indeed, and f-2 was much less risky because basic design work was already done by Lockheed as the agile falcon
There was no General Dynamics Agile Falcon; the whole F-2 was a scheme by the Reagan administration to develop the Agile Falcon with the Japanese money.
 

GTX

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SlowMan said:
The simple fact is that there is nothing out there that Korea could buy off the shelf, a supercruising A2A low RCS fighter that is cheap enough to be bought and operated in hundreds of units to counter an armada of 1500 Chinese fighters over the Yellow Sea and North Korea.

SlowMan said:
The low maintenance and operations cost... is what really matters. And a locally sustained jet costs a fraction of an imported jet.


You are somewhat contradicting yourself there.


Moving on though, do you really think that Sth Korea is going to be facing an armada of 1500 chinese fighters by themselves? Really? Even if that situation were to occur, what is preventing China from lobbing a couple of ballistic missiles at the Sth Korean bases?


I still think you are putting far too much emphasis upon local production of parts etc. to reduce operating/maintenance costs. Unless every single part is produced in Sth Korea (something no other country, including the USA does), then you are still going to be importing parts. But as I said, parts are only a part of the cost of maintaining.

SlowMan said:
Mitsubishi F-2, otherwise known as the Agile Falcon, was forced upon Japan, when Japan wanted to go alone.


Proof for this claim please?

SlowMan said:
There was no General Dynamics Agile Falcon; the whole F-2 was a scheme by the Reagan administration to develop the Agile Falcon with the Japanese money.


Rubbish! The Agile Falcon was proposed by General Dynamics at least as far back as 1984. The fact that no actual aircraft were produced does not preclude the design/concepts existed.
 

chuck4

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GTX said:
SlowMan said:
The simple fact is that there is nothing out there that Korea could buy off the shelf, a supercruising A2A low RCS fighter that is cheap enough to be bought and operated in hundreds of units to counter an armada of 1500 Chinese fighters over the Yellow Sea and North Korea.

SlowMan said:
The low maintenance and operations cost... is what really matters. And a locally sustained jet costs a fraction of an imported jet.


You are somewhat contradicting yourself there.


Moving on though, do you really think that Sth Korea is going to be facing an armada of 1500 chinese fighters by themselves? Really? Even if that situation were to occur, what is preventing China from lobbing a couple of ballistic missiles at the Sth Korean bases?


It seems to be part of Slowman's nationalist fantasy of Korea finally becoming an independent major power able act independently against other great powers of the region, instead of the humbling reality of Korea, despite its consumer industry, being a cog in the wheel contrived by and for the strategic interests of the other great powers.


It reminds me of Poland's inter-war fantasy of becoming a independent land and maritime power able to hold its own against Germany and Russia. Poland even made detailed plans to build battleships so it can dominate the Baltic sea against the navies of Germany and Russia, all very similar to Slowman's notion of Korean fantasy fighters dominating the Yellow Sea on its own and shooting down the Chinese hordes.
 

GTX

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Calm down! I would love to see the Sth Koreans develop a new fighter - gives us more to look at at forums such as this. The issue I (and I suspect a number of others have) is the wild claims from some. Those of us who have been in the industry (in manufacturing, sustainment and operational roles) are very sceptical of such claims. I have also had some experience with the likes of the Korean T-50 and KT-1, both of which whilst admirable designs are yet to be ground breaking. To now claim that this new KFX will somehow be so is hard to swallow.


At the end of the day I wish them the best of luck. However, I suspect the end result, if it does actually get built and feilded will be closer to the "F-2 sort of picture" then the "uber cheap F-16 Block 60++ sort of picture" that is being postulated.
 

Mach42

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GTX said:
Calm down! I would love to see the Sth Koreans develop a new fighter - gives us more to look at at forums such as this. The issue I (and I suspect a number of others have) is the wild claims from some. Those of us who have been in the industry (in manufacturing, sustainment and operational roles) are very sceptical of such claims. I have also had some experience with the likes of the Korean T-50 and KT-1, both of which whilst admirable designs are yet to be ground breaking. To now claim that this new KFX will somehow be so is hard to swallow.


At the end of the day I wish them the best of luck. However, I suspect the end result, if it does actually get built and feilded will be closer to the "F-2 sort of picture" then the "uber cheap F-16 Block 60++ sort of picture" that is being postulated.
1. What? I would hardly call C103 and C203 ground breaking.
2. I am content with a gen 4.5 KF-X. (We went from a prop plane to a F-16 mod into a gen 4.5? Imagine Britain or France pulling that off for the Eurofighter/Rafale.)
3. It could be a huge disaster.
 

GTX

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Mach42 said:
1. What? I would hardly call C103 and C203 ground breaking.


You missed my point. When I said that neither the T-50 or KT-1 were groundbreaking I was doing so as a comparison with some of the claims made for the new KFX which if they were all to be true would be ground breaking.


Mach42 said:
2. I am content with a gen 4.5 KF-X. (We went from a prop plane to a F-16 mod into a gen 4.5? Imagine Britain or France pulling that off for the Eurofighter/Rafale.)


Ah yes, but it is so much easier when you can build upon what others have done already. Thanks to technology transfer and education/employment of engineers etc in other countries/companies Sth Korea would not be starting from the same level. Also remember that the likes of the T-50 DID benefit from significant Lockheed Martin involvement...despite what some might like to claim.


Mach42 said:
3. It could be a huge disaster.


:eek: No idea what you are talking about here.
 

Mach42

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GTX said:
Mach42 said:
1. What? I would hardly call C103 and C203 ground breaking.


You missed my point. When I said that neither the T-50 or KT-1 were groundbreaking I was doing so as a comparison with some of the claims made for the new KFX which if they were all to be true would be ground breaking.


Mach42 said:
2. I am content with a gen 4.5 KF-X. (We went from a prop plane to a F-16 mod into a gen 4.5? Imagine Britain or France pulling that off for the Eurofighter/Rafale.)


Ah yes, but it is so much easier when you can build upon what others have done already. Thanks to technology transfer and education/employment of engineers etc in other countries/companies Sth Korea would not be starting from the same level. Also remember that the likes of the T-50 DID benefit from significant Lockheed Martin involvement...despite what some might like to claim.


Mach42 said:
3. It could be a huge disaster.


:eek: No idea what you are talking about here.
1. Okay
2. I was agreeing with you
3. I was dryly agreeing that yes, it can fail
 

chuck4

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SlowMan said:
It depends on whether China decides to enter the fight again or not. China does have a mutual defense treaty with North Korea, which obliges China to automatically enter the war, and the ROK war planners are planning for the worst possible case.
Mutual defense treaty generally only obliges the one side to come to the aid of the other if the other is actually attacked, not if the side was the aggressors. So in your nationalistic fantasy you plan to attack North Korea?

SlowMan said:
The ROK warplan requires that it stops the wave of 1500 PLAAF jets crossing the Yellow Sea alone for 7 days before the US reinforcement arrives. This is the reason for the 250 km range KL-SAM program to supplement the A2A optimized supercruiser KFX program, so take on 1500 PLAAF fighter jets for 7 days.


More of the Polish battlefleet dominating Baltic sea scenario?


SlowMan said:
Then PLA better do it fast because the 800 km range ROK ballistic missile is scheduled to be deployed in 2015, a means of retaliation.
Yes, Beijing is within range.


You plan to attack Beijing with nuclear warheads? Else you think you will have enough ballistic missiles to deter the Chinese from sending their vastly larger, and more diverse ballistic missile arsenal to even the score against Seoul? Economically, financially, industrially, transporation wise, and in terms of population Seoul is vastly more important to South Korea than Beijing is to China.



SlowMan said:
The controversy left bitterness on both sides, and Japanese industrialists, convinced that a Japanese-designed and Japanese-developed FSX would be superior to a modified F-16


No shit! Given Japan's track record of wanton spending of public money to line the pockets of industrialists and developers, you think Japanese industrialists weren't strictly going after the much larger windfall from a pure domestic development program, and were genuinely concerned that the modified F-16 wasn't going to be the biggest bang for many fewer bucks?


Mach42 said:
1. Oh fuck really there are bigger fish in the pond than us! Better roll over and die then! ::) The government has to actually TRY to maintain a country's sovereignty you know, we didn't survive as a nation in between China and Japan by giving up. We won some and we lost some but then again we were surrounded by "great powers" so what are you going to do but be a annoying little prick and persist?


Hey, overwrought nationalistic sentiments has to be needled.
 

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SlowMan said:
[You will What matters here is that Japan wanted to do an indigenous long-range twin-engine fighter jet to suit Japanese needs, but the US forced the Agile Falcon airframe on Japan that didn't meet Japan's needs, and the F-2 still can't do the job it was intended for well as the result.

Slowman, you do know that Japan has full license to build the F-15J, which is twin engine and long range. And they have made their own modifications to it. ???
 

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kcran567 said:
Slowman, you do know that Japan has full license to build the F-15J, which is twin engine and long range. And they have made their own modifications to it. ???

1. The original requirement was something like 200. The F-15J cost too much to buy another 200.
2. The requirement for FSX was 4 anti-ship missiles, The F-15C/D/J/DJ cannot carry four anti-ship missiles.
 

GTX

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SlowMan said:
...the US forced the Agile Falcon airframe on Japan that didn't meet Japan's needs...


Enough with this garbage! Unless you can put more real proof forward then a Wikipedia page, stop raising what IMHO is utter BS!
 

SlowMan

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GTX said:
Enough with this garbage! Unless you can put more real proof forward then a Wikipedia page, stop raising what IMHO is utter BS!

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbm=bks&sclient=psy-ab&q=Japan+FSX+twin+engine&oq=Japan+FSX+twin+engine&gs_l=serp.3...12119.12827.2.13173.6.6.0.0.0.2.127.564.4j2.6.0...0.0...1c.1.5.psy-ab.7K-Q5rnFh-k&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.dmg&fp=57ed3facf015c21&biw=1280&bih=895

Intended for use not only as a ground support fighter-bomber, but also to patrol Japan's sea lanes, the FSX should instead be a twin-engine aircraft able to carry four ASM-1 air-launched anti-ship missiles, have a range of up to 810km

Although the initial specifications called for a twin-engine F-16 derivative, the FSX will be a single-engine aircraft — a major tradeoff

In the case of the FSX as well, industry claimed that Japan had to develop an autonomously designed jet with two engines because of the country's population density.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in July 1988 described the design of the FSX, Japan's "next- generation" fighter intended for ... of which was twin-engine power to sustain the new fighter in patrols as far out as 1 .000 nautical miles over Japan's sea

General Dynamics presentation was nearly terminated when its proposal for a single-engine F- 16 did not meet the requirement for a twin-engine FSX.

On the other hand, costs for developing the F-l5 are ¥l.l trillion, which is extraordinarily high, while the F-l6 runs counter to the policy of "twin engines," a function requested of the FSX
 

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The real FSX that Japan wanted to build on its own, not the Agile Falcon that the USAF wanted to develop with Japanese money.




 

GTX

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Still not providing evidence that the USA somehow FORCED (your word) Japan to go with the F-2 in its current form.
 

SlowMan

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GTX said:
Still not providing evidence that the USA somehow FORCED (your word) Japan to go with the F-2 in its current form.

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbm=bks&sclient=psy-ab&q=US+pressure+Japan+FSX&oq=US+pressure+Japan+FSX&gs_l=serp.3...2873.14855.3.15110.49.28.7.6.6.5.433.6412.0j3j11j8j1.23.0...0.0...1c.1.5.psy-ab.7xmHnqtUzIs&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43287494,d.dmg&fp=57ed3facf015c21&biw=1280&bih=895

bargaining positions under heavy U.S. pressure. According to one official in the JDA, "The FSX incident was the opening act in a U.S.-Japan military technology war, and Japan suffered a total defeat. What an utter mess."

At the last stage, however, the Japanese government gave up its favored option of a wholly domestic development of FSX under heavy US pressure, and adopted the licensed manufacturing of modified F-16s. American worries about Japan's

Similar resentment was registered when U.S. pressure halted a Japanese plan to develop its own design for the next generation-of the Japanese fighter jet

Members of Congress wasted a lot of energy last year when they demanded that the Japanese buy an American ... in such an embarrassing position that it could no longer resist U.S. pressure at least to share the task of developing the FSX.
 

GTX

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Give it a break. You see forcing, I see tough negotiating. This is a lot different from the USA somehow imposing its will on Japan /Japan giving up their sovereign interests.


Back to facts about the KFX concept/project which may or may not eventuate in something more then drawings.
 

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Last comment on FS-X - see the Rand report here: http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR612z2.html for a full and frank account of the program.
 

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JFC Fuller said:
I never said that the entire K-FX programme had been cancelled- only that the Indonesian press were reporting that the existing co-development contracts had been cancelled.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/indonesia-confirms-18-month-k-fx-delay-383258/

The statement adds that Seoul will not cancel the programme owing to the "huge sums" already spent on K-FX. The entire programme is forecast to cost $5 billion, with Jakarta committed to footing 20% of development costs.

The K-FX is envisaged as fighter that will be more advanced than the Lockheed Martin F-16C, yet lacking some of the capabilities of the F-35.

Seoul hopes to use offsets garnered from the yet-to-be decided 60 aircraft F-X III competition to help develop the K-FX. Contestants for the F-X III include the F-35, Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle and Eurofighter Typhoon. Sources say Seoul could announce a winner by the middle of 2013.
Once again, the KFX program is tied to the F-X program as the KFX depends on F-X to fill in missing 13% of technology, so the KFX program cannot progress without the decision on the F-X outcome, because the development strategy depends on whether the engineering consultant is Boeing or EADS.

From what's circulating in the media, Boeing appears to be emerging as the frontrunner of the pack.
 

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Model of KF-X concept.

Source:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_04_29_2013_p46-571780.xml
 

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Mach42

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It's fan art. But its pretty amazing.

Some slides from KFX seminar.

Korea Aerospace Industries
 

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Mach42

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Triton said:
Wouldn't it be better to attach these slides rather than hot link them, Mach42?
Apologies. Will do that in the future.
 

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Presentation 1 - 8
 

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Presentation 9 - 16
 

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Presentation 17 - 24
 

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Presentation 25 - 32
 

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Presentation 33 - 40
 

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Presentation 41 - 44
 

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GTX

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Unrealistic early visions of an F-35 class stealth aircraft developed on the cheap produced some attention-getting models, but they appear to have given way to the idea of a fighter with slightly better kinematic performance than an F-16C/D Block 50, along with more advanced electronics that include a made-in-Korea AESA radar, the ability to carry a range of new South Korean weapons under development, and a better radar signature. The Jakarta Globe adds that the plane is eventually slated to get the designation F-33.

The project goes ahead, the 1st step will involve picking a foreign development partner, and the next step will involve choosing between 1 of 2 competing designs. The C103 design’s conventional fighter layout would look somewhat like the F-35, while the C203 design follows the European approach and uses forward canards in a stealth-shaped airframe. It’s likely that the choice of their foreign development partner will determine the design choice pursued.
Either aircraft would be a twin-engine fighter weighing around 10.4 tonnes, with stealth shaping. In order to keep ambitions within the bounds of realism, KFX Bock 1 fighters would only have to meet the radar cross-section of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or Eurofighter Typhoon. Sources have used figures of 0.1 – 1.0 square meters.

Note that even this specification amounts to developing a plane similar to or more advanced than the JAS-39E/F Gripen, from a lower technological base, with less international help on key components, all for less development money than a more experienced firm needed to spend. South Korea’s own KIDA takes a similar view, questioning the country’s technical readiness for something this complicated, and noting an overall cost per aircraft that’s twice as much as similar imported fighters.

KFX Block 2 would add internal weapon bays. Present plans call for Block 1 would be compatible with the bays, and hence upgradeable to Block 2 status, but Block 1 planes wouldn’t begin with internal bays. The fighter’s size and twin-engine design offer added space compared to a plan like the Gripen, but this feature will still be a notable design challenge. Additional tolerance and coating improvements are envisioned to reduce stealth to the level of an F-117: about 0.025 square meters.

KFX Block 3 would aim for further stealth improvements to the level of the B-2 bomber or F-35.

No timeline has been discussed for Block 2 and Block 3 improvements, and at this stage of the program, any dates given would be wildly unreliable anyway.

More/Source
 

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Thank you Paul for the very interesting slides. Looks like all current stealth designs: KFX, Shin-Shin, AMCA, J-31 converge to the F-35 layout. I wonder if similar requirements bring about similar solutions, or, dare I say, we're looking at a fashion? Reminds me of the US Army pixelized camo aped by most armies around the world, while the US, in the meantime, converted to multicam.
 

Creative

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Actually "pixelized" started as far back with the Soviets.
Pixellated shapes pre-date computer aided design by many years, already being used in Soviet Union experiments with camouflage patterns, such as "TTsMKK" developed in 1944 or 1945. The pattern uses areas of olive green, sand, and black pixels running together in broken patches at a range of scales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_camouflage#Pattern_scale_and_digitization
 

Reaper

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Theres an aircraft comparision slide describing high mid and low class. Why is the Rafale mid and the EF high class? In terms of a2a capability? Any ideas?
 

GTX

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EADS Offers US$2 Bln Investment On Korean Fighter Jet Project
(Source: Yonhap news agency; published May 23, 2013)

SEOUL --- The European Aerospace Defense and Space Company (EADS) on Thursday offered to invest US$2 billion in South Korea's long-delayed fighter jet development project if it wins Seoul's jet procurement deal.

The multinational defense firm made the offer as its Eurofighter Tranche 3 has been competing with Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth jet and Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle for the 8.3 trillion won ($7.3 billion) contract to replace the South Korean Air Force's aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s.

The EADS also promised to build a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility and an aerospace software center as well as provide marketing support for Korean-made combat aircraft.

"If Eurofighter's deal is realized, it is expected to boost South Korea's aerospace industry," EADS said in a statement.

First launched in 2002 to build F-16 class fighter jets, Seoul's ambitious plan to develop fighter jets in the next decade has been delayed as local think tanks and experts question the feasibility of the multi-billion dollar project as well as the technical aspects to domestically produce aircrafts and meet overseas demand.

EADS, which seeks to have competitive edge over its American competitors, earlier proposed to manufacture 53 out of 60 planes in local factories if it wins the multi-billion dollar deal in its recent marketing efforts.

The European company's aggressive marketing efforts come at a time when many have called on the Park Geun-hye administration to promptly make a decision to either go ahead with the large-scale airplane development project or put on the brakes if it is deemed economically unsustainable.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) remained cautious over the EADS's investment plan as it is preparing to make a final decision with a goal of picking a contractor within June.

"The EADS made the investment offer on the condition that it wins the procurement deal," a DAPA official said, asking for anonymity. "The government has not yet confirmed whether it would go ahead with the fighter jet development project."

On Thursday, DAPA said it has completed price negotiations and will begin the bidding process in June.

"The price negotiations have been completed and we don't plan to have another round of negotiations," DAPA spokesman Baek Yoon-hyeong said in a briefing. "We plan to conduct the auction within June."

According to DAPA officials, the acquisition agency has recently decided to postpone the proposed first delivery of fighter jets from December 2016 to August 2017, in consideration of the delayed selection process.

The agency had initially planned to announce a contractor last October under the former administration of President Lee Myung-bak, but it was postponed over calls by politicians to wait until the next government took office.

-ends-
 

Foxglove

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Creative said:
Actually "pixelized" started as far back with the Soviets.
Pixellated shapes pre-date computer aided design by many years, already being used in Soviet Union experiments with camouflage patterns, such as "TTsMKK" developed in 1944 or 1945. The pattern uses areas of olive green, sand, and black pixels running together in broken patches at a range of scales.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_camouflage#Pattern_scale_and_digitization
Might be, but if we go that far back, I'd think that the source of inspiration for the Russians were German geometric designs found on elements of Wehrmacht uniforms and aircraft. Even today you can see this influence in the Su-35 and T-50's camouflage. One way or another, the Russian pixel camo, only popular in the Soviet Army in the 70s and early 80s, was hardly a trend setter, unlike the US Army's MCU, the PASGT helmet, or to stick to aviation, and not only, stealth or UCAVs. Fashion affects everybody, including the military, no matter how reluctant they would be to admit it: hence a train of F-35 clones, KFX included, is set to enter service worldwide in the coming years.
 

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