CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
- Mar 11, 2006
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KFX Remains Paper Jet Fighter
(Source: Jakarta Post; published June 9, 2013)
Indonesia’s dream of operating a fleet of sophisticated jet fighters it helps build will not come true anytime soon. Under the new administration, South Korea has postponed the joint project to develop KFX/IFX jet fighters.
The project was initiated on March 9, 2009, after the governments of Indonesia and South Korea signed a letter of intent. At least US$5 billion was to be spent over 10 years on this project. Indonesia was to cover only 20 percent of the cost, while the rest was to be paid by South Korea. Although only contributing 20 percent of the cost, Indonesia is committed to being involved in any single process including technology development phase (TDP), engineering and manufacturing development phase, joint production and marketing.
After three years into the TDP, engineers from the two countries produced a KFX-IFX design. According to the Indonesian Defense Ministry, the government spent at least $2.7 million in 2011 and $7.3 million in 2012.
But a House of Representatives lawmaker from Commission I overseeing defense, Tubagus Hasanuddin, presented different data, revealing that Indonesia disbursed about Rp 1.6 trillion ($164.8 million) on the project (The Jakarta Post, May 16).
The postponement came after the Defense Ministry received a letter from South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), stating that the engineering and manufacturing development phase should be indefinitely postponed as the new government of South Korea had to wait for the parliament’s consent.
Indeed, since the beginning, the KFX/IFX project has been quite problematic. Several times some members of House’s defense commission questioned the feasibility of this project. They claim the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has never discussed the KFX/IFX project with the House. Despite the House’s criticism, the joint project went ahead.
The project actually sent a clear message that the government preferred developing the KFX aircraft to buying US-made F-16 or any other sophisticated jet fighters. It cannot be denied that Indonesia needs something to be proud of now that the country is grappling with rampant corruption and horse-trading among politicians.
At least two implications may arise after the joint project was rescheduled. First, who will take responsibility for the $10 million the government has spent if the project is permanently discontinued?
Will it be the South Korea administration, Yudhoyono, the defense minister or who? Of course, the amount is not small as it could cover the purchase of 14 2A4 Leopard tanks from Germany, which costs $700,000 each.
Second is the matter of credibility. Indonesia has considered purchasing military vehicles from South Korea, such as three submarines and T-50 trainer jets. The deferral of the KFX project, of course, has impaired the credibility of South Korea as an emerging military equipment manufacturer.
Will other contracts be suspended or unilaterally canceled? What will the South Korea government do to ensure that there is no postponement or cancelation of arms sales? Or, is there any guarantee that the KFX project will remain on track after the temporary suspension?
There are at least two steps that Yudhoyono can take in response to the delay. First, the government should evaluate the KFX/IFX project documents to determine whether the postponement was anticipated before the project agreement was signed, and whether there is a clause allowing the South Korea administration to decide at will to postpone the agreement and which party should bear the responsibility if the project is permanently terminated.
Second, the President could reconsider all military purchasing plans involving South Korean products. The unilateral postponement of the jet fighter project of course has disrupted Indonesia’s bid to develop a sophisticated combat plane.
Reviewing the plan to purchase South Korean military equipment such as T-50 jets and submarines, and exercising an option to upgrade Hawk trainer jets and procure submarines from Russia would be understandable and justifiable.
In an effort to achieve a minimum essential force, the Indonesian Military is taking military capability development seriously, either through imports or the purchase of national defense industry products. But it is time for Indonesia to demonstrate dignity and send a clear message to arms producers. After all, the KFX/IFX remains a paper jet.
The writer is program director of the Ridep Institute and associate faculty member of Binus International, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta.
The article states that this design is seeking to limit cost by lowering the RCS in the forward quadrant only. As such, what you recommend is unnecessary and this design is reportedly based off of the T-50 (Korean Trainer).Dragon029 said:If they're going with a single tail, I would have expected them to cant their elevators downward - it may be a cheap / small aircraft, but surely it isn't that hard to eliminate a fairly large right angle there?
Interesting. I would have thought that Lockheed Martin would have tried to get South Korea to buy the F-35.fightingirish said:According to AW&ST, November 4th 2013,page 10, Lockheed Martin has offered South Korea a F-16 concept modified for stealth.
S. Korea decides to buy 40 Lockheed F-35s from 2018
By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided Friday to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin's F-35A stealth fighters for four years starting in 2018, with an option to buy 20 more later depending on the security situation and budget, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
JCS Chairman Choi Yun-hee held a meeting of top commanders to approve the plan to buy the 40 F-35 Block 3s, which are capable of conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with internal carriage and external stations for missiles and bombs. The software configuration is expected to reach the initial operating capability around 2016, according to the U.S. Air Force.
As the F-35 is sold only through the U.S. foreign military sales (FMS) program, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is expected to purchase the aircraft through a government-to-government deal and without an open bid.
The total budget hasn't been confirmed as the FMS condition requires a foreign government to pay the amount specified by the U.S. government for the F-35s at the time of payment. Seoul had initially assigned 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) for the past program for 60 jets.
The move comes as the Air Force has asked the government to buy the combat aircraft with a lower radar cross section, one of the key stealth functions, and advanced avionic warfare capabilities.
"The F-35A will be used as a strategic weapon to gain a competitive edge and defeat the enemy in the early stage of war," JCS spokesman Eom Hyo-sik said in a briefing. "The South Korean military will also use the aircraft to effectively deal with provocations."
The purchase plan has been scaled back from the previous one, in which Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle was the only bid within the budget. The advanced variant of the F-15 was voted down due to its relatively weak stealth capabilities.
For an additional 20 jets, the South Korean government will reconsider the required operational capability and security situations with a goal of deployment between 2023 and 2024, Eom said, giving Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EDAS), which participated in the past bidding, an opportunity to secure a contract.
Boeing earlier proposed a mixed purchase of F-15s and F-35s to minimize a security vacuum, while EADS highlighted an offset deal, including the transfer of technology and industrial participation for South Korea's indigenous fighter jet project in synergies between the aircraft procurement and development program.
"The JCS decided to buy 40 jets first to minimize the security vacuum and purchase the remaining 20 after reassessing the required operational capability in accordance with the changing security situations and aerospace technology," Air Force Brig. Gen. Shin Ik-kyun said.
Shin said the stealth jet will play a critical role in destroying major enemy targets as part of the so-called "Kill Chain" defense system, which is designed to detect signs of impending missile attacks and launch pre-emptive strikes.
Lockheed Martin's F-35, which is still under development for the U.S. military, had initially been considered as a favorite, given South Korean Air Force's long pursuit of stealth fighter jets that can pass through North Korea's complex web of radars and given the close relations between the two allies.
However, the past rounds of negotiations that placed high priority on the acquisition price effectively eliminated the F-35, which has been plagued by cost overruns and technical problems.
The move comes as calls have risen to acquire the fifth-generation jet as the Korean Peninsula is encircled by China and Japan, which are at odds with each other over territorial disputes and seek to expand their military power. Russia is preparing to equip its Air Force with stealth jets to counter the U.S. F-35s and F-22s.
Unlike the fierce competition for the past project, industry experts say the one-way bid gives Seoul less room to negotiate other conditions such as a technology transfer or industrial cooperation in connection with the program.
For past biddings, Lockheed, Boeing and EADS had proposed aggressive offset programs to sweeten their bids, ranging from technology transfers to promises of purchasing Korean-made parts.
Industry experts say the F-35 purchase would pose a greater challenge to Seoul when negotiating the technology transfer due to the tight U.S. arms export policy.
"Even if changes have been made to the program and number of jets, we will push for the project by acquiring promises on technology transfer in the fighter development project," a senior ministry official said, without elaborating on the specifics on the negotiations.
During Friday's meeting, the JCS endorsed the indigenous fighter development project, codenamed KF-X, to be included in the mid-term defense budget plan, allowing the defense ministry and the state procurement agency to make a blueprint for system development. The plan needs final approval from the DAPA.
The military aims to complete the development of a fighter jet around 2020 with the goal of deploying it from 2023, according to the officials.
South Korea has been seeking to develop a much larger indigenous fighter jet program with the help of major defense contractors, although that has been delayed due to budget constraints and questions over its feasibility.
The state arms development agency has been working on the concept and designs of the aircraft, and has been waiting for the government's approval to start a full-scale project.
Previous studies by the Korea Development Institute (KDI) showed that the KF-X would cost at least $6 billion for system development alone and would bring about fewer economic benefits than expected, and the total cost for production and maintenance could snowball in the future.
In its 2015-2019 defense plan, the defense ministry estimates the total development cost at about 9.3 trillion won, with plans to allocate the budget to related agencies.
A recent study by the Korea Institute for S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) pointed out the delayed jet acquisition serves as a setback for the development of the indigenous fighter.
While the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has been working on the concept and shape of the aircraft, some experts point out that the Air Force has not yet prepared a concrete concept for the aircraft and underestimated its total cost.
Scientists and defense contractors, however, stress the need for government-level efforts to build South Korea's own combat jets with a long-term vision for the aerospace industry.
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) announced on 22 January that it will redouble efforts to complete the development of its KFX multirole combat aircraft programme.
"Every effort will be made to move forward with the KFX next-generation fighter project, development of light helicopters and the winning of the US Air Force T-X project," KAI President Ha Sung-yong said during a press conference in Seoul.
The KFX is South Korea's 4.5-generation combat aircraft research and development programme, which was announced by the country's Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) in 2001, with an expected in-service entry date of 2021. The proposed multirole aircraft would be a single-seat, twin-engine design, equipped with stealth features, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and internal weapons carriage.
A decadelong effort by South Korea to develop its own fighter aircraft has finally received approval, yet the feasibility of the ambitious indigenous project, dubbed KF-X, is still in debate.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced Jan. 5 that it would begin the KF-X development with the allocation of 20 billion won (US $19 million). Seoul aims to produce 120 KF-X jets between 2023 and 2030, the agency said.
But the announcement sparked a dispute over key specifications for the KF-X, especially over the design of the future jet.
The state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has long studied a twin-engine concept, either of the C103 design that looks somewhat like the F-35 or the C203 design following the European approach and using forward canards in a stealth-shaped airframe.
Both of the twin-engine platforms would be powered by two 18,000-pound engines, ADD officials said.
Korea Aerospace Industries, on the other hand, prefers a single-engine concept, dubbed C501, which is to be built based on the FA-50, a light attack aircraft version of the T-50 supersonic trainer jet co-produced by Lockheed Martin.
The C501, powered by a 29,000-pound engine, is designed to be fitted with a limited low-observable configuration and advanced avionics.
"A single-engine concept is in pursuance of both affordability and combat performance, based on the advanced FA-50 technologies," said Lee Myung-hwa, Korea Aerospace Industries spokesman.
The FA-50 entered service in August with the South Korean Air Force. Powered by a General Electric F404 engine, the aircraft is armed with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, machine guns and precision-guided bombs, such as joint direct-attack munitions and sensor-fuzed weapons.
In December, South Korea signed a $1.1 billion deal with Iraq to export 24 FA-50s, following a 2011 contract with Indonesia for 16 FA-50s.
The state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses backs the single-engine design and questions the country's technical readiness for developing an aircraft that could compete with fighter jets developed by US and European aerospace giants.
"A new jet fighter is a massive endeavor at the best of times, and widely unrealistic technical expectations do not help the project," said Lee Joo-hyung, a senior researcher at the institute. He expects the KF-X development to cost at least 10 trillion won ($927 million), which is much higher than buying foreign aircraft.
Lockheed Martin is also supportive of the single-engine type. "Obviously, a derivative airplane will be cheaper and faster to develop than a clean-sheet, brand-new aircraft," a Lockheed Martin official said. "But the bottom line is, we will give full assistance for whatever KF-X design that Korea chooses."
The ADD, however, claims a plane that's larger than the KF-16 and has two engines will provide more room for future upgrades.
"A fighter with a new concept has better economic feasibility than one based on the existing platform in terms of total life-cycle costs," said Lee Dae-yeol, head of ADD's aircraft systems development bureau.
The ADD expects about 6 trillion won are needed to develop the KF-X, 8 trillion won for production and 9 trillion won for operation and maintenance costs.
"We've secured independent technologies enough to proceed with the KF-X," Lee said. "Of the 432 technologies for developing an aircraft, we assess we're only short of 48 items. Then we can push for the KF-X in cooperation with foreign partners."
The ADD envisions KF-X Block 2 would have internal weapon bays, and Block 3 would feature further stealth improvements to the level of the B-2 bomber or F-35.
"The twin-engine design offers added space for new Korean-designed weapons and internal bays, but this feature will still be a notable design challenge," said Kim Dae-young, a member of the Korea Defense and Security Forum, a private defense think tank.
Still, the Air Force prefers a twin-engine aircraft because of its flight safety and larger operational range.
"Normally, a twin-engine fighter features a larger combat range than that of a single-engine," an Air Force officer said. "Obviously, it's safer, too. Even though an engine quits in a twin, the pilot could prevent the airplane from going out of control."
The Air Force believes an F-16-class fighter development is meaningless at the moment, as its regional rivals -- Japan and China -- are pushing ahead with air power modernization.
"The first deployment of the KF-X is to start in 2013 at the earliest. By that time, an F-16-class fighter will become an old model, definitely," the officer said. "It's meaningless to have that type of aircraft by the time neighboring countries are operating future-generation fighter fleets."
DAPA spokesman Baek Yoon-hyung said, "We will listen to various opinions from different research institutes and experts before choosing KF-X specifications."
The agency will hold a top executive meeting presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin to finalize KF-X requirements, he added.
Indonesia is the only KF-X partner. It joined in June 2010 to bear 20 percent of the development costs.
Turkey is referred to as a potential partner, but there has been no tangible progress over the Seoul-Ankara discussions. Turkey is said to demand that it take more control over the project than a 20 percent share.
In the article they meant C103 not C-130.S. Korea opts for double-engine platform for indigenous fighters
SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to adopt a double-engine platform for its indigenous warplane project, which would boost combat capabilities and ensure long-term economic feasibility, the defense ministry said Friday.The Joint Chiefs of Staff reached the decision to take the C-130 twin-engine platform over the single-engine one, putting an end to a long-drawn-out heated debate, according to the ministry...
(Reuters) - South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff endorsed a plan on Friday for the country to design its own mid-level fighter jet, which a state think tank estimated will cost up to 8.5 trillion won ($8.24 billion) to develop.
Dubbed the KF-X program, the fighter jet is expected to be built by the country's sole jet builder, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI), after being co-developed with Lockheed Martin Corp, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The Joint Chiefs said in a statement that they had endorsed a twin-engine fighter jet to be developed for delivery starting in 2025.
KAI makes the T-50 family of jets, South Korea's first home-built light trainer and fighter, which was co-developed by Lockheed Martin. South Korea is also buying F-35 fighters from Lockheed Martin.
KAI sold 12 T-50 variants to the Philippines for around $420 million in March, after previously exporting the jets to Iraq and Indonesia.
South Korea's acquisition of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets for around 7.34 trillion won is expected to be finalised in the third quarter. The deal's accompanying offset offer includes Lockheed Martin involvement in the KF-X program, the people said.
However, the scope of Lockheed Martin's involvement in the program is still being negotiated, the people added.
Indonesia also participated in earlier studies of the KF-X program and remains a potential partner, one of the people said.
State-run think tank Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) reported earlier this month that a twin-engine version of the fighter jet is expected to cost around 8.5 trillion won, the person told Reuters.
Both sources declined to be identified as details of defense requirements are confidential. Officials with Lockheed Martin could not be reached for comment.
KAI referred questions to the country's arms procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), as companies have yet to be named for the program. DAPA referred questions to the Joint Chiefs, who reiterated their statement.
($1 = 1,031.60 Korean won)
Faced with increasing regional threats from China, Indonesia plans to modernize its fighter fleet, with a stated aim of having 200 by 2024 to form a minimum effective force. The nation has three separate programs covering current, middle- and long-term requirements.
For the long-term requirement, Indonesia has joined the South Korean KF-X program for a 4.5-generation advanced low-observable fighter. This program, named IF-X in Indonesia, is intended to offer a capability pitched somewhere between the F-16 and F-35, but without the latter’s hefty price tag.
Last month Indonesia committed to providing 20 percent of the development funding as the project moves into the full development phase. Some details of the aircraft emerged during last week’s Indo Defence show held in Jakarta.
In the summer South Korea settled on the twin-engine, single-seat C103 design as the basis for KF-X/IF-X. The engines will offer at least 36,000 pounds of thrust, and two contenders are the Eurojet EJ200 and General Electric F414. The aircraft is similar in configuration to the F-22, with chined nose and outward-canted fins. Alignment of the leading edges of the wings, root extensions and tailplanes is 40 degrees aft sweep, while trailing edges are aligned 10 degrees forward. The wings have an aspect ratio of 2.7:1. The caret-shaped intakes offer a capture area of 781 sq in.
Up to 16,000 pounds of stores can be carried on 10 hardpoints, including four staggered recesses under the fuselage for the semi-conformal carriage of missiles in the AMRAAM class. The IF-X model on show at Indo Defence was displayed with guided glide bombs. The Indonesian Ministry of Defense is currently undertaking a research program for a range-extension and precision guidance kit for application to Mk 80-series unguided weapons, and intends to make its first test drops next year.
While South Korea has yet to decide who will lead the program, PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI, the state-owned airframer) will take the major role in Indonesia’s participation. Lockheed Martin is also to be involved with some technology transfer, a stipulation of South Korea’s recent purchase of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. KF-X and IF-X will be similar in most respects, but with some local suppliers contributing to the Indonesian version. Avionics specialist Infoglobal has been selected to provide cockpit displays and other systems for the IF-X. First flight is expected around 2020, with service-entry around 2024/25.
In the medium term Indonesia is seeking an F-5 replacement. An RFI was issued in summer 2013, and an RFP is expected early next year. A number of OEMs are bidding for this contract, which will initially be for 16 multi-role aircraft. Lockheed Martin (F-16), Sukhoi (Su-35), Saab (Gripen NG) and Eurofighter (Typhoon) are in the running. Sukhoi has been supplying Su-27/30 Flankers to Indonesia in small batches for some time, and this may play in its favor.
However, under Indonesian law new defense acquisitions must include a minimum 30-percent direct offset, while the selection criteria have been weighted 30 percent for aircraft/system performance, 30 percent acquisition/life-cycle costs and 40 percent for industrial cooperation. Both Saab and Eurofighter are offering attractive cooperation packages that include technology transfer, local production and development work. Each company has been holding talks with PTDI to finalize its joint industrial proposals.
In the short term, the Indonesian air force has received the first of its F-16C/D “Block 52ID” aircraft acquired through U.S. Foreign Military Sales. The 24 aircraft on order are former U.S. Air Force Block 25 aircraft that have undergone a thorough overhaul and modernization, including reworked engines and overhauled/strengthened airframes. The initial three were delivered in July to 3 Skadron Udara at Madiun, where they are augmenting the existing F-16A/B force. A second F-16C/D unit, 16 Skadron Udara, is to form at Pekanbaru.
Source: AIN Online - Defence - Indonesia Moves Forward with Fighter ProgramsThis 1:10 scale model of the IF-X was shown at the Indo Defence show last week, armed with air-to-air missiles, stand-off cruise missiles and glide bombs. (Photo: David Donald)
[...] In the summer South Korea settled on the twin-engine, single-seat C103 design as the basis for KF-X/IF-X. [...]
But what's Airbus' role in this game then ???SYDNEY – Airbus and Boeing are jointly attempting to unseat Lockheed Martin from South Korea’s KF-X indigenous fighter program, offering technology from Europe that could not be supplied from U.S. sources, industry officials say.
With Korean Airlines as the local partner, the pair are likely to be proposing the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as a base design for the KF-X.
http://www.janes.com/article/48797/kfx-stalls-after-only-one-bidder-meets-development-deadlineThe Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX) aircraft programme stalled on 9 February when an insufficient number of companies lodged bids to secure a contract to complete development of the aircraft.
A spokesman from the country's military procurement agency - the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) - told IHS Jane's that only one company had lodged a bid by the deadline.
This company is understood to be Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), which is looking to undertake the KFX programme in collaboration with Lockheed Martin, with some of the work to be undertaken through defence offset attached to South Korea's programme to procure the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The DAPA spokesman added that a second round of KFX bidding will start on 10 February and close at the end of the month. This bidding process will seek to encourage at least one other company to lodge a bid for the programme. South Korean procurement rules dictate that all defence development and manufacturing programmes must have at least two bidders.
South Korea's national airline Korean Air is reportedly preparing a bid in co-operation with Airbus, but did not lodge a proposal by the deadline. A DAPA official quoted by South Korea's Yonhap news agency said Korean Air is expected to lodge its bid before the end of February. Requests for comment from Korean Air and KAI were not answered.
Local media reports had also suggested Boeing might take part with a platform based on the F/A-18 Super Hornet. However, a Boeing spokesperson told IHS Jane's on 6 February that "at this time, we believe that the timing is not right to enter the bidding process for the KF-X programme. Should the time frame for this competition change in the future, Boeing would consider how our expertise in developing and manufacturing our portfolio of strike fighters could best apply".
The early development of the KFX aircraft to date has been led at a national level, although KAI's involvement in the programme alongside South Korea's Agency for Defense Development makes the company a strong favourite to win the contract to take the aircraft through to the manufacturing stage.
South Korean officials have previously described the KFX as a single-seat, twin-engine, multirole aircraft equipped with stealth features, active electronically scanned array radar, and internal weapons carriage.
KAI has already dodged a number of hurdles to the programme, including its suspension by the government in 2013 after concerns at the cost risks associated with designing and manufacturing a twin-engine aircraft with internal weapons carriage. To mitigate this risk, at the 2013 ADEX exhibition in Seoul KAI unveiled a single-engine concept without internal weapons bays that borrowed components and design elements from the T-50 family of trainer/light attack aircraft. In 2014, however, DAPA finally endorsed the twin-engine concept after lobbying from the Republic of Korea Air Force, IHS Jane's understands.
The KFX programme also has input from Indonesia, which in October 2014 signed an agreement with South Korea to support the engineering and development of the aircraft. Under the arrangement, South Korea will pay 80% of the KFX engineering and development costs, with Indonesia paying the remaining 20%.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has been named as preferred bidder in the USD8 billion programme to complete development of the Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX) aircraft.
South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced the decision following a steering committee meeting chaired by Defence Minister Han Min-koo on 30 March.
DAPA added at the meeting that it had also approved a plan to upgrade existing Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) air-defence missiles as well as procured PAC-3 systems to enhance the country's anti-ballistic missile capabilities. Raytheon has been selected to upgrade the PAC-2 missiles, while Lockheed Martin is expected to provide the PAC-3s.
The announcement about the missiles follows the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency's notification in November about a possible sale of 136 PAC-3s to South Korea in a programme estimated to cost USD1.405 billion.
In relation to the KFX, DAPA said KAI had been selected to enter negotiations to undertake the development programme ahead of rival airline Korean Air. In bidding for the KFX programme, KAI has partnered with Lockheed Martin while Korean Air has teamed with Airbus.
"After reviewing their development plan, ability and bid price by the evaluation team comprised of government officials and experts, we have selected KAI as the preferred bidder," DAPA said. It added that it plans to make a final selection on the KFX developer during the first half of 2015 following negotiations with KAI that will be focused on "price and technologies".
KAI and Korean Air, which undertakes military programmes through its Aerospace division, submitted their respective bids for the KFX programme in February. An earlier tender was aborted by DAPA when only one company, KAI, submitted a bid. South Korea's defence procurement rules dictate that at least two companies must bid for contracts.
KAI was, however, always considered favourite to win the programme. It had previously partnered with Korea's Agency for Defense Development in the early development phase of the KFX, and has also previously collaborated with Lockheed Martin on the development of the T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer aircraft and its light fighter variant, the FA-50.
Looks like KFX won't have internal weapons bays or diverterless inlets. Seems like a step backwards.Triton said:It would be interesting to see how the KAI-Lockheed Martin KFX compares to the Shenyang J-31 Falcon Hawk.
Source: Flight International - 13th April 2015South Korea has chosen Korea Aerospace Industries as preferred bidder for the KF-X indigenous fighter, rejecting a late offer from Korean Air Lines with backing from Airbus. But the European company may yet at least partly replace Lockheed Martin as provider of foreign technical support for the program to avoid a U.S. veto over foreign sales and integration of non-U.S. weapons