The Boramae Fighter Jet Project Moves On!

            Minister of Defense, Prabowo Subianto could smile widely because the continuation of the South Korean-Indonesian KF-21 Boramae fighter jet project is increasingly showing progress. The latest, prototype aircraft numbers 03 and 04 are undergoing development at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) production facility in the city of Sacheon. This fighter jet has a tandem-seat configuration, meaning that the rear seat is occupied by the navigator. This aircraft can be useful for combat training or reconnaissance.

            One of the visible improvements is that the fins of the two prototypes have been colored. Aircraft 03 gets a touch of blue dominant color with white and red designs, also written KF-21 003. Meanwhile, aircraft 04 has a touch of yellow domination with additional white and black stripes and written KF-21 004.

            South Korean authorities have not provided further statements regarding the latest developments of the fighter jet. However, reported by the Korea Joong Ang Daily, the KF-21 fighter jet project called KF-X (Korean Fighter eXperimental) and IF-X in Indonesia is said to be the most expensive military project in Korean history, with a price tag of around 8.5 trillion. won for development only.

            Indonesia plans to produce 48 KF-21 jets locally after receiving one prototype and technical data. During a state visit to Korea in September 2018, President Joko Widodo asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to reduce 5% of payment obligations. Initially, Indonesia was required to pay 20% but there was a demand that it fell to 15%.    

Through renegotiations since October 2018, the two countries narrowed their differences over Indonesia’s current 20 percent contribution ratio, agreeing on payments in several other forms. However, according to the details of the renegotiated cost-sharing agreement announced by the Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) last November 2021, the two countries decided to maintain a 20% cost-sharing ratio for Indonesia and a payment schedule from 2016 to 2026.

Jan 24, 2022, CNBC Indonesia