South Koreas 4.5 Gen stealth fighter and other International military cooperation agreements

1. South Korea and the United States have inaugurated a forum dedicated to expanding military technology collaboration. The new group is partly geared towards promoting collaboration on the project to develop the Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX) aircraft.

The Korean government allocated some 8.5 trillion won ($6.67 billion) to develop indigenous mid-level fighter jets to replace the Air Force’s antiquated F-4 and F-5 aircraft. Another 9.6 trillion won is earmarked for the production of the 4.5th generation fighters, which are expected to outperform the KF-16-class fighters, bringing the total budget for the project to 18.1 trillion won.

KAI is expected to begin production of the KF-X in 2018, finish designing by September 2019 and come up with six prototype fighters by 2021, according to the DAPA. It will spend the next four years doing flight tests to complete development by 2026.

The overall focus of the program is producing a 4.5th generation fighter with higher capabilities than a KF-16 class fighter. Quantities of the resulting fighter are planned at 120 for the ROK Air Force and 80 for the Indonesian Air Force. South Korea plans to procure it from 2023 to 2030.

On 30 March 2015 KAI/Lockheed Martin was chosen for the KF-X contract over Korean Air and Airbus Defense.

2. Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine on Monday said a joint brigade of 4,000 troops would be operational next year, as the region maintains a wary eye on Russia and its role in the Ukraine conflict.

“The multinational brigade is a sign, symbol and very clear signal to anyone who would want to undermine peace in Europe,” Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in a ministry statement.

While Lithuania and Poland are NATO and EU members, Ukraine is not but has been a part of the defense alliance’s Partnership for Peace eastern outreach program since 1994.

3. Indonesia and Ukraine have signed an agreement to expand co-operation in defence trade and military technologies, official statements in Jakarta have said. The agreement was signed during Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Indonesia, which ended 7 August.

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the two countries will explore areas of potential defence trade, featuring Ukrainian exports to Indonesia and followed by defence industrial co-operation.

SOURCES- Janes, Defense News, korea joongang daily, internet photos