Indonesia is reportedly seeking a major reduction in its funding commitment for the Korea Aerospace Industries KF-21 fighter.

Jakarta wants to reduce its share of the KF-21 development costs to W600 billion ($442 million), a third of the W1.6 trillion – or 20% of development costs – it originally pledged in 2015, according to South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency. The new payment proposal is about 62% less than Jakarta’s original commitment.


Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

Original plans had called for Indonesia to receive one of six KF-21 prototypes

Yonhap reports that discussions are underway between the two parties, and that Seoul has yet to decide whether to accept Indonesia’s proposal.

Jakarta’s reluctance to make payments has plagued the KF-21 programme for years – although officials from both nations have periodically stated that Indonesia’s backing remained solid. 

FlightGlobal understands, however, that the Indonesian side is displeased with the level of technology transfer that South Korea has offered.

The relationship has been further soured by allegations that Indonesian engineers in South Korea attempted to steal technical data about the programme using a USB storage device. The allegations are subject to a major investigation in South Korea.

Original plans had called for Jakarta to receive one of the six KF-21 prototypes. Subsequently, Indonesian Aerospace was to have produced up to 48 examples of a special Indonesian variant locally.

Jakarta may also be wary of obtaining the KF-21 given that it needs to fund its firm orders for 42 Dassault Aviation Rafales. In January, it finalised a deal covering a third and final tranche for 18 of the French-built fighters.

In addition, it has committed to a potential purchase of 24 Boeing F-15EXs.

CORRECTED: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of reduction reportedly sought by Jakarta.