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Indonesia to join fighter jet project

April 20, 2011 - 19:02 By Song Sangho
Indonesia has signed an agreement to join South Korea’s project to develop a new fighter jet, officials at Seoul’s weapons acquisition agency said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Indonesia’s state-run defense research institute, “Balitbang,” will participate in the technology development process for the KF-X project, also known as the “Boramae” project.

According to the deal, Balitbang will pay $10 million ― 20 percent of the budget required ― over the next two years to Seoul’s Agency for Defense Development, which is leading the process.

The participants in the process include Korea Aerospace Industries and LIG Nex1.

They will set up the Combined Research and Development Center in Daejeon sometime in the first half of this year. Balitbang will send some 30 researchers to the center, officials said.

South Korea and Indonesia inked a preliminary deal last year that called for Jakarta to buy about 50 of the KF-X fighters in exchange for shouldering costs for developing new fighter jets.

South Korea has been pursuing the KF-X project since 2000 to replace its aging F-4 and F-5 fighter jets with homegrown aircraft. The signing of the deal on Wednesday came less than two weeks after Indonesia selected Seoul as a preferred bidder for its project to buy trainer jets.

By Song Sang-ho (