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New task force planned by South Korea to take charge of KF-X fighter development program.

| 2015
World Defense & Security News - South Korea
New task force planned by South Korea to take charge of KF-X fighter development program
South Korea plans to launch a new project team which will take charge of the faltering fighter jet development program before the end of this year, an official from the country's Ministry of National Defense said Wednesday. "For the success of the KF-X project, which is invested with huge funds and spawned technology development controversy, the project team will be established under the wing of the head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration," the official said.
South Korea s KF X indigenous to be managed by a new organization by year end 640 001South Korea KF-X 5th gen fighter aircraft project preliminary design
The new team will be staffed with as many as 80 workers for its task of successfully accomplishing the Korean Fighter Experimental project to produce 120 combat jets by 2025.

The chief of the project team will be selected from outside of the government through a public contest.

"A majority of the staff will be professional technicians," a DAPA official said, adding that the team's launch is aimed at boosting transparency and professionalism in pursuing the project.

The 18 trillion won ($15.9 billion) project has been under fire after the U.S.'s April decision not to transfer key fighter jet technologies was revealed last month.

In an offset deal linked to South Korea's purchase of 40 F-35 Lightning II fighters last year, Lockheed Martin initially offered to provide 25 technologies for the combat jet project.

The U.S. State Department refused to approve the transfer on four out of the 25 technologies, citing International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Amid a growing controversy, DAPA chief Chang Myoung-jin met with President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday and briefed her on how the procurement agency will prop up the project.

The briefing reportedly indicated the DAPA will make up for the four denied technologies -- an active electronically scanned array radar, infrared search and track, electronics optics targeting pod and radio frequency jammer -- through local development and technical assistance from Britain Israel and Sweden.

Park reportedly ordered Chang to "manage the project thoroughly so as to disperse public concerns."

Domestic news outlets interpreted that the remarks showed the president's renewed support for the project's continuation despite the recent setback.


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