The Indonesian parliament approved a 1.07 trillion Rupiah (US$78.6 million) budget Friday for investment in South Korea's fighter jet project called KF-X.
This amount to being the first batch of funds for joint development of a new South Korean fighter jet with stealth capabilities, Indonesian and S.Korean officials said were quoted as saying in the Korean media.
The funds approved is the first of 1.7 trillion won ($1.49 billion) the Indonesian government has agreed to invest in the 8.4 trillion won project in exchange for some of the new technologies to be developed besides sharing in the prototype development.
The South Korean government will be bearing 60 percent of the total project cost with the rest set to be raised by local firms, officials from the defense procurement office of Korea told Yonnhap News.
The move by the Indonesian parliament came one day after South Korea's own parliamentary subcommittee approved a 67 billion won budget for the fighter jet development program. The South Korean budget is still subject to approval by the parliament's defense committee and the parliament itself.
Following the U.S. State Department refusal to provide at least four out of 25 key technologies considered vital to the development of a fighter jet with stealth capabilities, citing International Traffic in Arms Regulations, S.Korea vowed to develop these technologies using its own R & D expertise.
S.Korea plans to build 120 combat jets by 2025 for use by its own air force as well as its new partner, Indonesia.