January 28, 2008 10:10
The Korea Development Institute concluded that a project to develop home-grown next-generation fighter planes would be economically unviable.
The program, codenamed KF-X, aims to produce a multi-role fifth-generation aircraft by 2020 to replace the outdated F-4Es and F-5Es and to market it globally. However, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said the report was for reference only and the project would be carried out in view of other factors such as export prospects and technological capacity.
DAPA and the Air Force unveiled the KDI survey Sunday. It says the project would generate weak economic effect in proportion to the investment cost. A monthly defense journal cited a KDI report to the presidential office as estimating economic effects of less than W3 trillion given a W10 trillion investment (US$1=W947).
Foreign defense industry experts estimated the development cost at W10-12 trillion, while some Korean military officials quoted W5-6 trillion. After a feasibility study this year, the project aims to mass produce domestic next generation fighter jets by 2020 with the goal to build 120 units in a bid to secure proprietary technology and strengthen the country's medium level fighter jet capacity.
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