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South Korea to receive key F-35 technologies for its KF-X programme

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World Defense & Security News - South Korea
 
 
South Korea to receive key F-35 technologies for its KF-X programme
 
South Korea will soon receive key technologies from the F-35 programme, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Lockheed Martin officials have stated that the US Government will approve in the near future the transfer of 21 technologies that are important for the development of the indigenous fighter aircraft under the KF-X programme.
     
South Korea to receive key F 35 technology for its KF Xprogramme 640 001United States will provide South Korea with 21 key technologies for its KF-X program
     
Seoul had decided to procure 40 F-35 JSF aircraft. Under this programme, Lockheed Martin would transfer 25 different technologies as part of an offset agreement. These would be used to develop the new KF-X fighter by 2025, with a cost of USD16 billion, in order to replace 120 legacy platforms. However, the US State Department had denied in April the transfer of four key technologies, based on the restrictions imposed by the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations legislation.

These technologies were related to the integration of the AESA radar with the indigenous fighter aircraft’s mission computer. An important element for a new aircraft with stealth capabilities. Thus, the US decision caused dissatisfaction among the South Korean politicians and the public opinion, as the decision to procure the F-35 was taken under the offsets pretext as well.

But now, as John Balderston, Lockheed Martin’s Director of Business Development for South Korea, stated, “We submitted a license and all the indication we have say it’s progressing well within the (US) government and we expect a timely answer. It’s generally up to the US government to decide when the final approval will be given but all the indications show there’s a lot of US government attention on it”.

Upon the approval of the technology transfer, engineers from Lockheed Martin will be sent to South Korea. They will provide their counterparts with manuals and reference material and they will help them to assimilate the new technologies and gradually integrate them to the new fighter aircraft.