KAI seeks additional partners for KF-X fighter

Singapore
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Korea Aerospace Industries is talking to external parties about participating in its KF-X fighter programme, with Indonesia's planned involvement yet to be confirmed.

"We're not sure yet who we'll be working with on the KF-X," says Enes Park, executive vice-president at KAI. "More countries could come in." The South Korean government will provide 60% of the required funds for the programme, he adds, with the remainder to be sourced from "external parties".

While he does not rule out Indonesia's participation in the programme, Park says KAI is now speaking with "several countries".

At the Farnborough air show in July, South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesia, with the latter to potentially contribute up to 20% of the KF-X development costs. Seoul was also in discussions with Turkey at that time.

The KF-X programme envisages the production of around 120 fighters for the South Korean air force. However, a potential price tag of around $8 billion has caused successive South Korean governments to balk at giving the project the go-ahead. The involvement of other countries could reduce costs for Seoul.