European MBDA has been selected by South Korea to arm its new indigenous KF-X fighter jet with Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs).
The contract awarded by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) also includes providing integration support to KAI, transfer of know-how and manufacture of test equipment for the KF-X integration and trials campaign.
The Meteor advanced air-to-air missile has a unique ramjet propulsion system that allows it to fly further and faster than any other air-to-air missile – allowing it to defeat manoeuvring targets even at extreme ranges, MBDA said in a statement.
Following a joint development agreement signed in 2015, some 168 units of KF-X aircraft are to be produced, with South Korea receiving 120 aircraft while Indonesia will get 48 units. Jakarta would have to pay 20% development cost in exchange of three prototypes and the right to manufacture the 48 jets in Indonesia.
Last month, a mock-up of the fighter was displayed for the first time at the Seoul ADEX-2019 event. The 4.5 generation fighter jet’s prototype is scheduled for first flight in 2021. The mock-up displayed at ADEX is shown to be equipped with IRST ( Infrared Search and Track ) pod, air-to-air missiles, laser-guided bombs and external fuel tanks. No landing gear could be seen.
The KFX mockup shows the logo of the South Korean Air Force and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) while the Indonesian partner’s name- PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) is missing. Earlier scale models displayed at air shows had KFX/IFX either on the model or as a backdrop.
Indonesia has ran up an arrears of 230 billion won ($200 million) by skipping milestone payments as part of its participation in the South Korean-led KF-X project, a spokesperson for the S Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Kang Hwan-seok had told reporters in Seoul on October 22, 2018.