Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is courting outside manufacturers to participate in its KF-X stealth fighter program. This program is expected to produce more than 120 aircraft for South Korea’s air force, and may be offered as an export to interested countries. The program’s total cost could reach $8 billion, which is causing the government of South Korea to hesitate in giving its approval. Enes Park, executive vice president at KAI said, “We’re not sure yet who we’ll be working with on the KF-X; more countries could come in.” The government of South Korea will provide 60 percent of the program’s funding with the outside partnership providing the balance.
Potential partners include Indonesia, which signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea at the Farnborough airshow in July and could contribute up to 20 percent of the development costs. Indonesian Aerospace has more than 30 years of experience with aircraft and aero structure design and production, and would be well placed to contribute. Turkey is also in consideration, since its aerospace industry is growing with license production agreements in place between Turkish Aerospace Industries and several Western aerospace manufacturers.