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Indonesian defense minister likely to attend KF-X rollout event in S. Korea

Defense 17:03 April 01, 2021

SEOUL, April 1 (Yonhap) -- Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto is expected to attend an upcoming rollout ceremony showcasing a prototype of South Korea's first indigenous fighter jet, sources said Thursday, in what could be a sign the country remains committed to the joint development project.

Indonesia had promised to shoulder 20 percent of the 8.8 trillion-won (US$7.9 billion) development cost, but it has stopped making payments after investing 227.2 billion won with around 600 billion won overdue, spurring speculation that the country is seeking to quit the KF-X project.

Whether Indonesia will send senior officials to the rollout ceremony expected to take place in the first couple of weeks of April has been a focus of attention because it would signal the country will remain a partner for the project.

"As far as I know, Indonesia has delivered to our government an intent that senior military officials, including Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, will attend the KF-X rollout event," a source said.

Kang Eun-ho, the head of South Korea's arms procurement agency, visited Indonesia last month and handed over the invitation.

Eyes are on whether the defense cooperation between the two sides will get back on track on the occasion of Prabowo's visit. Besides the fighter jet project, Indonesia signed a deal with South Korea in 2019 to purchase three submarines, but the business has also made little progress since then.

Kang Eun-ho (4th from L), head of South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), meets with Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto (3rd from R) in Surabaya, Indonesia, on March 17, 2021, in this photo provided by the South Korean Embassy in the Southeast Asian nation. Kang visited Indonesia to attend a ceremony for South Korea to hand over a 1,400-ton submarine to the Indonesian Navy later in the day. The 61-meter submarine, dubbed Alugoro, was the third and last unit South Korea delivered to Indonesia under a 1.3 trillion-won (US$1.15 billion) contract in 2011. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)


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