September 25, 2015 13:23 Hopes are fading that Korea will finally manage to complete the epic KF-X fighter project by 2025 as planned. The project suffered a severe setback early this week when it was revealed that the U.S. government never approved the transfer of four key technologies as part of a purchase of 40 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Korea had been counting on the technology transfer to build its own fighter jet. If the project is delayed again, the Air Force could suffer a serious vacuum in its combat capabilities, since the old F-4s and F-5s are being gradually mothballed.The government now says it will develop the four technologies either on its own or with a European partner but the F-35 purchase should go ahead. On Thursday the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said it is already in talks with a European partner and has received “a positive response” but later admitted no proper negotiations are underway.DAPA has earmarked W800 billion for the four technologies, but such costs tend to spiral and no one knows how much the taxpayer will eventually have to shoulder (US$1=W1,195). Korea is developing a cutting-edge AESA radar for which Lockheed Martin was expected… Read full this story
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