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South Korea, Indonesia move closer to KF-21 agreement, says DAPA

DAPA has said South Korea and Indonesia are “narrowing the gap” on an agreement on Jakarta's payments on the programme to develop the KF-21 fighter aircraft, seen here at the launch of the platform's first prototype. (DAPA)

South Korea and Indonesia are edging closer to an agreement about Jakarta's financial commitment to the programme to develop the KF-21 Boramae multirole fighter aircraft, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul told Janes.

A DAPA spokesperson said that the two countries remain in talks over Indonesia's payments on the project but that the agency is confident that an agreement can be reached soon. The spokesperson also indicated that once the agreement is in place, Indonesia's position in the KF-21 programme could expand.

“The Republic of Korea and Indonesia are narrowing the gap between each other's position with regards to repayments through a number of negotiations,” said the DAPA spokesperson. “DAPA is very positive that the payment issue will be resolved.”

In 2015 the two countries agreed to invest KRW8.8 trillion (USD7.5 billion) to develop the KF-21, with Indonesia paying 20% of development costs in return for access to technologies and know-how. Under this accord, payments were scheduled to be made by Indonesia through to 2028, but Jakarta ceased these imbursements in March 2020.

Negotiations since then have been aimed at finalising a new repayment structure that Indonesia is willing to adhere to. Pointing to a commitment to the programme, Indonesia sent more than 30 engineers to rejoin the KF-21 programme in August 2021 and their number is expected to grow to approximately 100 by the end of the year. The engineers had ceased work on the programme in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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