S.Korea, Indonesia to develop 4.5 gen fighter aircraft KFX

RobWilliams

Super Moderator
Staff member
Costs aren't correct, you can get F-35A's in current lots for $120mn a pop and will still be dropping as production doubles and inefficiencies streamlined.

Doubt that the price of a PAK-FA will hit $60mn either, the quoted cost of $60mn is estimated, not actual. the PAK-FA program has consumed billions of dollars in funding and there's something like 5 flying prototypes. No chance they cost $60mn a pop to build even if we excluded all R&D costs.

Would like to see flying costs per hour, twin engine fighters cost more per flying hour than single engine jets. So if 'cheap' is the order of the day then the consideration of costs per flying hour & planned annual flying hours over the lifetime of the type as well as unit price.

Basically, wait until the production run has started. In terms of scale of production the F-35 is in the region of 3,000 and the PAK-FA is less than 500 I think.

PAK-FA is a beautiful looking aircraft and I really hope it does well, but your current assumptions are not entirely accurate.
 

StevoJH

Active Member
South Korea might have to settle for F/A-50 and F-35 for the near term. They have a lot of fighter types in service currently, that cannot be cheap having that many separate supply chains to support.

Better to maintain the F-15's until their end of service, and replace everything else with either F/A-50 or F-35.

If they want to develop a new aircraft, then they can continue low level development over time with a view to the developed aircraft replacing the F/A-50 (and the F-35 if they can develop something better on the available budget) in about 20-30 years time.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
They're upgrading a lot of F-16s. Life extension, new avionics including AESA radar. They'll be the first to go after the F-5Es & F-4s, but for a long time to come they'll have F-15, F-16, & the T/F/FA-50 family in service, & F-35 when it arrives..
 

anan

Member
KF-X latest?

They're upgrading a lot of F-16s. Life extension, new avionics including AESA radar. They'll be the first to go after the F-5Es & F-4s, but for a long time to come they'll have F-15, F-16, & the T/F/FA-50 family in service, & F-35 when it arrives..
What is the latest on the KF-X? Will Lockheed's "'300 man-years’ worth of engineering expertise"" be nearly enough? What other Lockheed IP will it incorporate?

What is the timeline? What are the likely specs other than a double engine? What type of engine is the first block of KF-X likely to use (F414-GE-400K/EPE or EJ200 afterburning turbofan)?

Is this summary still accurate?
KAI KF-X - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

KF-X strikes me as too ambitious. Block 1 appears similar to a block 52 F-16. With Block 2 being similar to a block 52 F-16 with an internal bay. Block 3 appears to target F-35 like stealth capabilities.

To achieve these types of performance specifications, the cost per fighter could exceed $100 million per aircraft. Is this practical?
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
What is the latest on the KF-X? Will Lockheed's "'300 man-years’ worth of engineering expertise"" be nearly enough? What other Lockheed IP will it incorporate?

What is the timeline? What are the likely specs other than a double engine? What type of engine is the first block of KF-X likely to use (F414-GE-400K/EPE or EJ200 afterburning turbofan)?
Seoul speeds up fighter jet development plan

The ROK still committed to the program, and already informed Indonesia as Junior Partner for next stage development phase. Whether this is ambitious or not, well it depends on the time frame. The Block 1 (2022-2024 operational) will used existing off the shelf technology available in the Market, while the Block 3 which aimed to be on 2030+ can used present technology developed for F-35, which by that time frame will be already available as of the shelf technology available in the market as F-16 block 52 tech available at the moment.

This program, never been intended to developed technology from the scratch, but using whatever tech available in the market. In sense, by that time frame, it's expected present F-35 tech already be more open to the market, since it's expected by that time frame, newer version of F-35 Block already using more advance tech. It might be at 2030, KFX block 3 cost more than USD 100 mio, but at that time USD 100 mio value will be similar with current USD 50-60 mio, or the range of present F-16 block 52 or SU-30 Mk2. This in turn says, that 100 mio price range already fell under affordable range.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Japan is also designing a new generation of fighter aircraft. I can't help but feel that there is a lot of sub-text here.

As tension with China ramps up these countries don't seem willing to rely on the West for support. Trouble is they don't trust each other that much either.

It could be interesting times ahead for this region.
 
I was thinking the same maybe the Taiwanese government could try to hook into the kfx as a replacement for all their fighters. With a potential 300/400 aircraft order could the south Korean's afford to say no.
 

bdique

Member
I was thinking the same maybe the Taiwanese government could try to hook into the kfx as a replacement for all their fighters. With a potential 300/400 aircraft order could the south Korean's afford to say no.
Not likely. Korea has the warmest relationship with China compared to any other North-East Asian nation, so while there is a pressing need for RoCAF to replace their F-5s (if we are talking about simply defending the island, the other aircraft types should be enough), I think it is more likely that the Taiwanese will press for the F-16 upgrades (from A/B to C/D standard) while developing indigenous weapons systems rather then getting a new aircraft type...especially one whose sale might generate protests from China.
 

airwingspotter

New Member
Have seen lots of RoCAF F-16 in Luke AFB here in AZ! they are all F-16A.. going through with teh crew chief... most have the MLU almost to the European standards!

I wonder if they have got the OK from US congress for the sale of those new F-16C...

RIght now in NAS Ft worth on our aviation spotting ... been seeing a lot of flying from the Iraqi F-16D and Egyptian F16C .... So! hope to see those F-16C for Taiwan coming off assembly in Ft worth!

DaveC
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
ADEX: KAI unveils futuristic KF-X cockpit

Few days ago, KAI shown the full mock up of KFX. So far, the progress on this project seems aim to have build the first prototype by 2021.
Indonesian administration so far continue told publicly in Media that they are still support Indonesian participation on the program, eventough there are some payment delays and negotiations on workshare deals.

At best what Indonesian can hope is from my perspective is what the like of Italian or Japanese F-35 final assembly facilities.
Afterall, this is Korean projects, and just F-35 is US projects, any international partners is just junior partners that can only hope to get some workshare load

(Put it in here, just to make a fact, since some Indonesian still think participation on this project will make Indonesia is also the owner of the project. It's not, a Junior partner is not the owner of project, it is just participating partner with same work share load).

Back to KFX, so far KAI support from LM on this project still there. Showing F-35 deal for LM support, did continue. Although Korean Industry especially in sensors and electronics participation are increasing.
 

Ahmad

Member
ADEX: KAI unveils futuristic KF-X cockpit

At best what Indonesian can hope is from my perspective is what the like of Italian or Japanese F-35 final assembly facilities.
Afterall, this is Korean projects, and just F-35 is US projects, any international partners is just junior partners that can only hope to get some workshare load

(Put it in here, just to make a fact, since some Indonesian still think participation on this project will make Indonesia is also the owner of the project. It's not, a Junior partner is not the owner of project, it is just participating partner with same work share load).

Back to KFX, so far KAI support from LM on this project still there. Showing F-35 deal for LM support, did continue. Although Korean Industry especially in sensors and electronics participation are increasing.
You are wrong. Indonesia in KFX/IFX project is not like Japanese or Italian participation on F 35. Indonesia is contributing on the design since 2011 and now there is 114 Indonesian engineers participate in designing the KFX/IFX aircraft. The number is more than 30 % of total designer working for KFX, much bigger than 20 percent stake Indonesia has on the program. It means Indonesian engineers are needed in the program, and even there is a design part that only Indonesian which has the capability.

It is not the workshare in manufacturing that is the most important, but the fact that Indonesia contribute on the design process and it will give Indonesian engineers experience in designing Stealth Fighter jet, something that only few countries can do it.

More on it.

ADEX 2019: Indonesia committed to KF-X project despite fiscal concerns

More than 100 engineers from Indonesian aerospace company PT Dirgantara (PTDI) remain involved in the project with South Korea to develop the next-generation Korean Fighter eXperimental (KF-X) fighter aircraft despite growing concern about the Southeast Asian country's financial involvement in the programme.

"We have 114 engineers working on the KF-X in Korea," said one official from KAI. "They are mainly working on the design of the aircraft but also on manufacturing processes." PTDI told Jane's that its engineers' involvement in the programme is intended to support the company's long-term development and its ability to apply acquired skills across a range of platforms.


ADEX 2019: Indonesia committed to KF-X project despite fiscal concerns | Jane's 360
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member
You are wrong. Indonesia in KFX/IFX project is not like Japanese or Italian participation on F 35. Indonesia is contributing on the design since 2011 and now there is 114 Indonesian engineers participate in designing the KFX/IFX aircraft. The number is more than 30 % of total designer working for KFX, much bigger than 20 percent stake Indonesia has on the program. It means Indonesian engineers are needed in the program, and even there is a design part that only Indonesian which has the capability.
Before saying there's no contribution on F-35 International partners to F-35 final design..please take a look again on the F-35 International contribution. There's sticky thread on that in this forum.

So DI did send engineer to this project..look what they really doing..they are more doing learning project and provide some input on Indonesian requirements.
Basic design, what sensors and electronics to be integrated is still doing and determined by KAI. Indonesia and DI is just Junior Partner, and Korea and KAI is the owner of project.

Junior Partner is not the owner of the project, just like the International partners in F-35, they are also send some of their engineer to LM lead F-35 team. However as Junior Partner, they have to follow LM leads.

We are not in the same situations during CN 235 development when IPTN and CASA established AirTech as 50:50 joint venture with both Casa and IPTN (now DI) has same ownership on the design and work share load. On that project CASA and IPTN are equal partners..there's no Senior and Junior.

When participating in this Project during SBY era, the administration knows that we are only participating as Junior Partners to have opportunity to involve in the development process. However so does the International Partners in F-35 program.
The Turkish TAI engineer as example also involved from beginning of International Partners program during development of F-35 under LM lead.

Those DI engineer also involved in KFX development under KAI lead. Don't just read what DI says in media as their involvement on KFX as sign DI has 'IP' on this project. KFX 'IP' project on this stage is belong to KAI and not DI as Junior partner.

However if on next stage, DI wants to developed Indonesian version (IFX) further, than they can have their own 'IP' on certain aspects of IFX that they want to developed on their own.
Until then, on this stage, all belong to KAI as senior partner. That's the difference between Senior and Junior partner status.

Just like CN 235, Casa has to share 50:50 on everything with IPTN. However when Casa developed further CN 235 as C295, then CASA own IP of C295 as development of CN 235.

No, I'm not wrong. Because what DI do at this moment on KFX program is no difference then International Partners did on F-35 program.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Active Member
According to Defense News the KFX program could be at risk because of Indonesia's lack of payment of the balance of it's US$1.4 billion share of the cost. Maybe SK should look for another partner.

South Korea’s future fighter program at risk, even as development moves along
Something i was afraid for and actually already expected....the lack of willingness of the current administration to develop Indonesia's defence industry and improve the strength of Indonesia's armed forces...

I will not be surprised if the government will pull IPTN out of the KFX-program and in stead of that buy chinese F-7s or JF-17s....
 

Ananda

Well-Known Member
When SBY admistration decided to join KFX program, he clearly say to the public that joining KFX program will benefit DI on 'involve and participating' with development of Fighter program. DI already have experience on developing commercial aircraft but not fighter program.

That in my mind clearly stated that Indonesia/DI participate as Junior Partner to provide opportunity for DI as learning curve on Fighter program.
However after Jokowi's administration come to power, this turn into political issue. Political as this adminstration begin questioning if the involvement worthwhile or not.

This administration seems begin to look on what DI got with involvement in this program. Somehow this administration saying that DI should have 'rights' for exporting on their own this Aircraft as they did with CN 235. Well, in CN 235 DI/IPTN was not Junior partner but equal partner. If this administration wants equal rights with KAI, then they should put more money. If you come only with 20% and Junior Partner status, how you are going to get more rights?
Also, Korean does not want Equal Partnership. They are looking Junior Partner to follow and participate in their program. This already clear when they are negotiating with Turkey. Turkey on the other hand want an equal status, where they can have more say on the 'IP' and design of the projects Fighter.

At this moment the share of ownership of the program divided as 60% ROK government, 20% Indonesian government , and 20% KAI. That 20% of KAI is actually aim for another intenational partner.
So @ngatimozart SK/ROK already try to get another additional partner, however they haven't got one which agree in their term.

That 20% is what they offer to Turkey to get involve just like Indonesia as Junior Status. Turkey wants equal status, and they are willing to inject more money. They aim on 40% ROK, 40% Turkey and 20% Indonesia.
ROK did not want that, Thus Turkey decide to go on their own program with TFX.

This left with Indonesia as sole International partners that in my opinion seems in 'limbo' on what they want. ROK already promisses that Indonesia as Junior Partner will have some work share load, involvement in design, and have Final Assembly line for Indonesian version IFX. This in my opinion already fair enough as this is similar agreement that US give to their International Partners on F-35.

However as I mentioned above, this administration wants more..they want export rights for IFX for one thing and more access to KFX Tech, and this what make Delayed on payment sharing.
They begin to say, financial problem. ROK then agree for reschedulling on payment term. However after that they ask for more access and rights.

This is what I say become political. They clearly do not like what's been agreed by SBY administration when his admin agree to take 20% on the program. However at the same time they (Jokowi admin) also did not want to increase shares ownership.
How do you want more rights and tech access, but did not want to increase the ownership shares ? If they want more equal footing with ROK, at least then agree to pump more money and buy the other 20% portion that Korean aim to give to another International Partner. Makes 60% ROK and 40% Indonesia..then you can ask more rights and access.

So, what will the result on final renegotiation? Well don't know, will have to see it later on since it's can go either way around. However all parties need to work on 'realistic' term. Indonesian Admin also need to be clear on what they want..are they want to go out or want to stay in..
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member
will not be surprised if the government will pull IPTN out of the KFX-program and in stead of that buy chinese F-7s or JF-17s....
I don't think they will buy Chinese Fighter. Seems for Fighter, no one in TNI and Mindef will agree on Chinese made. Heck, finishing deal on Su-35 is already taking so much drama, can you imagine what kind of Drama will be if buying Chinese ?

Indonesia wants to have some capabilities on Fighter program..this administration at least agree to provide fund for DI to build facilities for Fighter Final assembly line (whatever that Fighter will be)..

Why I said whatever that Fighter will be, and not just saying 'IFX' ? Well there are offering for Indonesia getting license for Eurofighter or Gripen.. Eurofighter offering what seems similar deal they offer Saudi's on having Assembly line locally. While SAAB offer what seems similar arrangements that Brazil got with Gripen NG.

However all indication seems shown that LM is leading on negotiations for additional fighter for TNI-AU.
Publicly LM offering Block 70 or F-16V, but they also indicating after F-16V, Indonesia can get F-35 in 2030+..thus at the time TNI-AU need to replace current F-16, Hawk 200 or event Flankers.

What I'm getting at, all this seems indicating this administration prepared alternative if they decide to pull out from KFX if the negotiations does not follow through.
Still, I suspect Indonesia will try to maintain defense relationship with ROK. KFX is not the only defense program that Indonesia and ROK conducting. So just my suspicion, that if Indonesia pull out from KFX, DI will make agreement for FA-50 assembly line with KAI. There have been some comments from Air Force brass that FA-50 is suitable candidate for Hawk 100/200 replacement.

Again.. everything is in fluid motion..so multiple scenarios can happen.

ADEX 2019: KAI 'open' to additional foreign partners on KFX | Jane's 360

Just add, ROK/KAI still open for another partner. This is not new, since like I put before the 20% that now hold by KAI actually prepared for another partner. In fact for few years ago KAI says they are open for Technology Partner.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Active Member
ADEX 2019: KAI 'open' to additional foreign partners on KFX | Jane's 360

Just add, ROK/KAI still open for another partner. This is not new, since like I put before the 20% that now hold by KAI actually prepared for another partner. In fact for few years ago KAI says they are open for Technology Partner.
Well...Iran has also a 5th generation stealth fighter under development....their amazing F-313... :-D

This is a quite recently uploaded KAI promotion video.
They talk ofcourse about the KFX, but they dont mention the name of IAe/IPTN, probably in case of the Indonesian government pull out IPTN out of the project.
 
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Ananda

Well-Known Member

The progress on KFX prototype seems move on schedule as GE already contracted to supply F-414. The population of F-414 makes potentially as most widely used engine for Fighter programs as Indian Tejas Mk2 seems also going to used it. Besides off course Shornet and Grippen NG. European based EJ2000 still can get the market on Turkish TFX outside Eurofighter use.

Eventough the article still talking about Indonesian participation in IFX version, my understanding at this moment the latest installment payment on Indonesian share still being delayed. No official statement yet from Indonesia part on what the stand on Indonesia on the project. It's still 50:50 on potential Indonesia to step out or still in the project.

Whatever the result on the negotiations with Indonesia, the ROK will still move ahead on the program, so far.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Something i was afraid for and actually already expected....the lack of willingness of the current administration to develop Indonesia's defence industry and improve the strength of Indonesia's armed forces...

I will not be surprised if the government will pull IPTN out of the KFX-program and in stead of that buy chinese F-7s or JF-17s....
F-7s would have to be secondhand, wouldn't they? JF-17 could be an F-5 replacement, but given that Indonesia's bought T-50, it'd make a lot of sense logistically to buy FA-50 for that niche.
 
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