South Korea-Indonesia Combat Plane Venture Still On, Minister Says

Minister of Defense Purnomo Yusgiantoro on Wednesday denied reports that a cooperation project between South Korea and Indonesia to develop the Korean Fighter Experiment (KFX) combat airplane was canceled, saying that it was merely put on hold until the new government in South Korea was settled.

“Regarding the KFX, there are no such things as canceled or failed. It is true that it is being delayed because they are still in a transition government,” Purnomo told journalists at the presidential office.

He said that the new government in South Korea needed time to settle in before it can resume the project and reiterated Indonesia’s commitment to take part in the development of the combat airplane.

“Whatever South Korea is developing, we are taking part, taking a 20 percent share,” Purnomo said.

The Defense Ministry earlier this month said that Seoul had decided to delay the project by 18 months.

Indonesia and South Korea in August 2012 signed an agreement to start a research and development program to develop a next-generation fighter aircraft.

Under the agreement Indonesia will pay up to 20 percent of the $5 billion development costs while the rest will be split 60:20 between the South Korean government and the country’s Agency for Defense Development and manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries.



  • Serigala-Berbulu-Domba

    Far better to buy aircraft ‘off the shelf’ than to fritz around with this type of joint venture arrangement, which recalls to mind the Timor car fiasco.

    • FMN

      No pain, no gain

      • Lucy

        Gain being the word really FMN. Will we? The historical evidence is stacked against us, but SK are a good partner and more difficult to blame when things fall off the stove

        • FMN

          Stop making excuses, start making plans

    • Catweazle

      Taking another example, Eurofighter. Yes, there have been delays and arguments along the way but at the end of the day, a good plane was delivered to the benefit of all nations involved… probably better than each of them could have produced on their own. Maybe Indonesia does right to stick with another Asian country partner to develop a truly Asian aircraft? Time will tell.

      • KampungHighlander

        A three companies involved in the Eurofighter program all had experience designing and building modern fighter aircraft. Neither partner in the KFX programs has any experience with modern jet fighters except in the case of the Koreans who built planes from kits supplied by the US.

  • Dewi Thompson

    I wonder if this is the reason the ex-PM of South Korea is not scheduled to visit Indonesia?

  • Catweazle

    Yep. But you’ve got to start somewhere. Just because you can’t do it today, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. They can always buy-in expertise along the way.
    Ships, cars, domestic appliances, computers, hps… some while back people would have dismissed the idea that the Koreans would produce all of these things as laughable too. Now look at them. Probably all Indonesia brings to the table is money but look at what they too might learn along the way from the Korean habit of making a success from scratch… plus if the Koreans are successful, Indonesia will reap the benefits. A 20% stake holding seems a shrewd bet to me. As I said previously, time will tell.