SEOUL, (South Korea), 09 March, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova (Bm), Photo by DefenseNews.com
Europe is an option for South Korea to implement AAM (air-to-air missile) technology under its key arms procurement offset programs, reported DefenseNews
On 5th March DAPA (Defence Acquisition Program Administration), which is responsible for administering defence capability projects of South Korea and other similar activities under the Ministry of National Defence, announced a list of 18 (eighteen) weapons procurement programmes planned for the offset deals in 2018. The IRIS-T short-range and MBDA’s Meteor long-range missiles, with which the future fighter jet, dubbed KF-X is expected to be locally fit by 2026, belong to that list.
For that purpose, in 2017, a contract was signed between the European consortium MBDA and DAPA for equipping the KF-X with a 100-kilometre-range Meteor missile and according to the spokesperson of DAPA, Kang Hwan-seok, it is a priority task among the offset deals.
“It’s not sure if MBDA would offer to transfer some of the Meteor technology,” adds Kang Hwan-seok. “We’ll talk with the partner with all options on the table.”
Initially, DAPA planned the KF-X jet to be equipped with missile systems of the United States (such as AIM-9 Sidewinder and Raytheon-built AIM-120 missiles), but it is yet to be approved by the U.S. Government and that delay has made the Republic of Korea look for other options.
“Now we plan to arm the KF-X with European missiles due to U.S. export license problems,” a DAPA’s representative further explains. “If the U.S. Government shows a positive sign of offering its air-to-air missiles for the KF-X, we’ll discuss it.”