Indonesia confirms 18-month K-FX delay

Singapore
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Indonesia has confirmed that a joint programme with South Korea to develop the K-FX fighter will be delayed for 18 months.

In a statement, Indonesia's ministry of defence says the programme's engineering and manufacturing phase has yet to receive approval from South Korea's parliament. Jakarta was informed about this via a letter from Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

DAPA attributed the delay to the recent elections in South Korea in December 2012.

The engineering and manufacturing phase, which will include the production of prototypes, is the second of three phases for the K-FX programme. The programme's first phase focused on technology development and was completed in December 2012. The third and final stage involves joint production and joint marketing of the aircraft.

The technology development phase saw the two countries establish a joint research and development centre in South Korea, to which Jakarta contributed 37 engineers.

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.