South Korea wants to add a new jet into its portfolio of domestically built military aircraft

Lockheed Martin to help South Korea build fighter jet

South Korea has announced plans to design its own mid-level fighter jet in cooperation with Lockheed Martin.

Dubbed the KF-X programme, the development of the jet is foreseen to cost 8.5 trillion won (£4.81bn).

South Korea’s only jet builder Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is expected to work on the project together with US defence giant Lockheed Martin with a goal to start commercial deliveries of the two-engine aircraft in 2025.

According to available information, the scope of Lockheed Martin's involvement in the programme is still being negotiated.

Indonesia also participated in earlier studies of the KF-X programme and remains a potential partner, an unnamed source told Reuters.

State-run think tank Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) reported earlier this month that a twin-engine version of the fighter jet is expected to cost around 8.5 trillion won.

KAI makes the T-50 family of jets, South Korea's first home-built light trainer and fighter, which was co-developed by Lockheed Martin. South Korea is one of the first customers to buy F-35 fighters from Lockheed Martin.

South Korea's acquisition of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets for around 7.34 trillion won is expected to be finalised in the third quarter. The deal's accompanying offset offer includes Lockheed Martin involvement in the KF-X programme, it has been reported

KAI sold 12 T-50 variants to the Philippines for around $420 million in March, after previously exporting the jets to Iraq and Indonesia.

Recent articles

Info Message

Our sites use cookies to support some functionality, and to collect anonymous user data.

Learn more about IET cookies and how to control them