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The Republic of Korea announced with great fanfare its choice of Korean Aerospace Industries, partnered with Lockheed Martin, to develop an indigenous fighter to replace the ROK Air Force’s aging F-4 and F-5 jets, but the deal is still unsettled, industry and government sources said Tuesday. The KF-X deal is reportedly worth $7.7 billion and is to produce some 120 jets by about 2025. ROKAF’s 2013 purchase of 40 F-35s involved technology transfer as an offset. However, government and industry sources said the US government has yet to decide whether all aspects of the F-35 tech transfer desired by ROK for the KF-X—in radar, avionics, and other technologies—is releasable. At least two months of talks are needed at a government-to-government level before Lockheed is even involved in the discussions, sources said. Drawings released by the ROKAF show a two-engined KF-X that resembles the F-22, but government and industry officials said it will be more akin to a 4.5 generation aircraft. The ROK defense ministry said it aims for a KF-X contract to be inked in the first half of this year. Indonesia is also underwriting some of the development, and presumably will also buy the resulting aircraft. The winning KAI/Lockheed team, which also collaborates on the T-50 trainer and ROKAF F-16s, was favored over the rival partnership of Korean Air Lines/Airbus. (See also ROK to Select F-X by April, KF-X by Summer)