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S. Korea, Indonesia to open joint office for consultations on KF-X project

All Headlines 10:30 February 08, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Indonesia will open a joint office in Seoul on Wednesday to carry out close consultations in the KF-X fighter aircraft development project, the state defense procurement agency said Wednesday.

"The opening of the joint office will not only help the two countries exchange views on pending issues during the KF-X project but also allow them to effectively fine-tune differences," Jung Kwang-sun, director general for the KF-X Program Group at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said in a statement.

Seoul and Jakarta signed a 8.1 trillion-won (US$7.1 billion) deal to jointly develop the KF-X/IF-X 4.5-generation fighter in January last year, with the latter investing 1.7 trillion won for a 20 percent stake in the project.

The project is led by South Korea's DAPA, with the Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI), the country's sole aircraft manufacturer, leading the development, the spokesman said.

The preliminary design phase for the KF-X/IF-X began in December and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018. A prototype is due to fly in 2021 or 2022, with deliveries scheduled for around 2025, according to DAPA.

South Korea's military has a requirement for more than 100 KF-Xs, while Indonesia's initial requirement is at least 50 IF-Xs. There will be minor differences in operating systems between the two, official sources said.

In this photo taken on June 14, 2016, military officials take a look at a KF-X model aircraft displayed during an exhibition held in an Air Force building in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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