KAI To Pick Engine Maker For S.Korean Fighter Jet Project By Month-End

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:46 AM, April 19, 2016
  • 4903
KAI To Pick Engine Maker For S.Korean Fighter Jet Project By Month-End
KAI To Pick Engine Maker For S.Korean Fighter Jet Project By Month-End

South Korea’s sole aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) is expecting to finalize an engine supplier for the country’s indigenous fighter jet project by April end.

European engine maker Eurojet Turbo GmbH and the US firm General Electric (GE) are vying to be part of the Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) program.

KAI told Yonhap on Tuesday that it is talks with these two firms and is expecting to zero in one as early as this month.

"We are in talks with the two companies to select an engine provider for the Korean Fighter Experimental (KF-X) program," said a KAI official. "An engine provider will be selected as early as this month".

South Korea is seeking to locally produce 120 twin-engine combat jets under the KF-X program that is estimated to cost some 18 trillion won (US$16 billion). Seoul aims to deploy the new planes starting in mid-2020 to replace its aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s.

The country's state arms procurement agency said it plans to finalize the basic designs for the plane by September next year and come up with a detailed design by January 2019.

The KF-X project has gained a boost from the US pledge to transfer some of its jet technologies. But Seoul is facing the challenge of finding an alternative as Washington made it clear that four core technologies will be excluded.

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