South Korea Collaborates with Indonesia to Make Sophisticated Fighter Jets


South Korea previously invited Indonesia to collaborate in making advanced jet aircraft. South Korea’s new generation KF-21 and KF-X fighter jets have been in the spotlight after the jet successfully carried out its first flight test on July 19. What are the reasons for the two countries to collaborate?

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Indonesia agreed to pay 20 percent of the cost of producing the jet. The total cost required for the production of this jet reached the US $ 6.7 billion (Rp 100 trillion).

KF-21 itself was made by the Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI), with a cooperation agreement from Indonesia.

The military observer from the Indonesian Institute for Defense Studies and Strategic Studies, Beni Sukadis, assessed that the cooperation was carried out so that the two countries could be more independent in obtaining their defense equipment.

“The production of this fighter jets is part of the diversification of defense equipment sources so that it does not depend on one particular country if it is embargoed,” said Beni, quoted Monday (25/7).

According to Beni, another reason RI agreed to help South Korea develop the KF-21 jet was that several of Jakarta’s fighter planes would become old aircraft in a dozen years.

“The Ministry of Defense [Ministry of Defense] has predicted that the six F-16 fighter aircraft we had for the first time in 1981s and 24 grant aircraft in 2014 to 2018 will become old aircraft in 15 to 20 years,” said Beni.

When asked why RI agreed to the cooperation, Beni replied, “That was, so that we can be independent of dependence on other countries [Western].”

Furthermore, military and intelligence observer Susaningtyas Kertopati also shares the same opinion.

“This cooperation is a strategic project to strengthen the TNI’s defense equipment. The KF-X/IF-X fighter aircraft fulfills the prototype of a modern fighter aircraft to balance the air power of certain countries in the region,” Susaningtyas said, quoted Monday (25/7).

“So the fighter aircraft is designed to be produced later at PT DI [Dirgantara Indonesia] with better capabilities in extreme maneuvering designs. Equipped with various types of missiles and rockets, the fighter aircraft will become one of the backbones of achieving air superiority [air superiority]. in the sky of Indonesia,” he said.

From the South Korean side, Susaningtyas said that Seoul agreed to Jakarta’s assistance because the country would benefit from the cooperation between the two.

“South Korea agrees, of course, there are elements of its benefits for their country and to protect the strategic environment of the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Liang Pour Nah from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) said that Indonesia had two considerations regarding the use of the KF-21, namely the defense of a large area and the obsolescence of the aircraft fleet.