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IFX Indonesian Fighter Experiment (KF21/IFX program)

The development as such is highly valued and contested in regard to strategical subject. The information shared here, is discussed in depth.

For ease of readers and participants, thread is sticky now. Enjoy everyone.

Indonesian pilots start flying KF21/IFX as ones of the test pilots
This is thread about KF21/IFX program with Indonesia perspective and Indonesian media coverage using only credible media sources.

There will be IFX prototype (KF21 prototype 5) being launched soon inshaAllah, so this thread will likely discuss Indonesian KF21 version. IFX prototype will be tested in Korea and will be given to Indonesia as soon as the KF21/IFX program gets type certificate status which is expected in 2026 or beginning of 2027.

KF21 Prototype 5 that will be given to Indonesian Aerospace as test bed plane for development has already been flown.

Fifth KF-21 Boramae prototype successfully completed its maiden flight on 16 May 2023.

KF-21 005 is the final single-seat prototype and flew for 45 minutes.



The flight is piloted by both Korean and Indonesian pilot in KF21 tandem variant. This is the start for at least 2 Indonesian jet fighter test pilots from Indonesian Aerospace to fly the plane. Actually Indonesia has prepared 6 test pilots for KFX/IFX program where majority of them I believe will become test pilots for KF21 prototype 5 that will be sent to Indonesian Aerospace after the plane gets Type Certificate for development role (test bed plane)



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Indonesia to provide S. Korea with new payment schedule for joint fighter project in June: DAPA chief​

All News 18:00 May 10, 2023
By Chae Yun-hwan

SACHEON, South Korea, May 10 (Yonhap) -- Indonesia will provide South Korea with a new timetable for its payments for the joint KF-21 fighter project by late next month, the head of Seoul's state arms procurement agency has said, in a development expected to ease concerns over its unpaid share of the program's costs.

Eom Dong-hwan, minister of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), told reporters of the plan Tuesday, as Indonesia resumed payments for the project last November for the first time in nearly four years.

As a partner country, Indonesia has agreed to shoulder about 20 percent of the project's total development cost amounting to 8.8 trillion won (US$6.5 billion). But it had halted payments from January 2019 to last November, raising questions over its commitment to the advanced warplane project.

The country is estimated to have over 800 billion won in unpaid amount for the project scheduled for initial completion by 2026.


A prototype of the KF-21 fighter jet under development bearing the flags of South Korea and Indonesia moves out of a hangar at the headquarters of Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. in Sacheon, 437 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 9, 2023. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

"(Indonesia) has promised to notify South Korea of its payment plan for the remaining amount by late June," Eom said during a media event at the headquarters of Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI), the country's sole aircraft maker, in Sacheon, 437 kilometers south of Seoul.

"In order to ensure the payment plan proceeds normally next month, our project chief is scheduled to visit Indonesia soon for talks with high-level defense officials on its details," he added.

Eom acknowledged the financial burden Indonesia is likely to face considering the project's deadline but noted that the country made a payment of around 400 billion won in late February.

"We plan to manage such issues so that it does not disrupt the KF-21's development," he said.

Meanwhile, KAI CEO Kang Goo-young said the company is on track to deliver the first batch of FA-50 light attack aircraft to Poland, with a roll-out ceremony for the first model to be held on June 7.

KAI signed a deal last year to supply 48 FA-50s to the country amid Warsaw's efforts to replace its aging warplanes in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The first and second FA-50s will be sent in late July so that they can be assembled in Poland in early August and be able to conduct flights from mid-August," he said.

Under the deal, KAI will deliver 12 FA-50 "gap filler" models to the country by the end of this year and 36 FA-50 PL models, equipped with the advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other upgrades, from 2025 to 2028.


This photo shows a prototype of the KF-21 fighter jet under development at the headquarters of Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. in Sacheon, 437 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 9, 2023. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

During Tuesday's event, reporters were given close looks at KAI's fighter jets, including a demonstration of a KF-21 prototype being equipped with mock air-to-air missiles.

A group of engineers swiftly fastened two dummy air-to-air missiles -- a beyond-visual-range Meteor and a short-range AIM-2000 -- on prototype No. 1 parked at a hangar just minutes away from the company's assembly lines.

Since the KF-21's maiden flight in July last year, South Korea has staged over 200 test flights with four prototypes and the aircraft has achieved supersonic speeds and has staged armament tests.

"Guided launches (for the missiles) are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2025," Cha Myung-su, a senior test pilot at KAI, told reporters.

The fifth KF-21 prototype will make its first flight next week and the sixth one by the end of next month, according to KAI officials.

DAPA plans to stage some 2,000 test flights in total with the six prototypes by 2026.

On the back of the steady progress, DAPA seeks to sign a mass production contract for the aircraft next year, with Eom vowing to swiftly complete a "provisional" combat suitability test for the aircraft as part of efforts to finalize the mass production plan.


Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) workers equip a mock AIM-2000 air-to-air missile on the wing of a KF-21 prototype at a hangar in the company's headquarters in Sacheon, 437 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 9, 2023. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)


Indonesian test pilot flew KF-21 Boramae prototype for the first time​


An Indonesian Air Force pilot, for the first time, sat at the controls of one of the prototypes of the South Korean KF-21 Boramae fighter and took part in a test flight.

Indonesian Air Force fighter pilot and test pilot Col. Pnb Muhammad “Mammoth” Sugiyanto successfully conducted his first test flight in the KFX/IFX-21 “Boramae” prototype number 4, which is a two-seater (tandem), last Tuesday, May 16, from Sacheon Air Base, South Korea.

This tandem flight was manned by KAI test pilot Jim Tae Bom (front seat) and Colonel Pnb Muhammad Sugiyanto (rear seat) to test communication, navigation and identification systems and core avionics. The aircraft took off at 10:35 a.m. and landed at 11:34 a.m. (local time) from Sacheon Air Base, where Korea Aerospace Industries has its facilities. Acting as a “chaser” (escort) aircraft was an F-16 aircraft of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).

“Mammoth” and Lt. Col. Pnb Ferrel “Venom” Rigonald, are the two Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) pilots serving as test pilots on the KFX/IFX-21 Boramae program.

See also: Successful first flight of the tandem-seat KF-21 Boramae

This tandem flight coincided with the maiden flight of prototype 5 (single-seat), the type to be used by the Indonesian Air Force. This is the aircraft that will be delivered to TNI AU in the final phase of development in 2026, so that Indonesia can manufacture 60 of these fighters locally through technology transfer.

The flight was followed by a congratulatory party in the evening, together with representatives of KAI and PT Dirgantara Indonesia, Indonesia’s leading aerospace company and KAI’s partner in the project.

The participation in the flight tests of the TNI AU pilots is evidence that despite delays in covering the costs of their share of the program’s development, Indonesia remains committed to the KF-21 Boramae project.


KF21 prototype 5 is for Indonesian Aerospace to be used for further development of IFX program conducted entirely by Indonesian Aerospace engineers (and very possible with ITB (Institute Technology Bandung)

Indonesia participation in KF21 program is similar like Indonesia participation in CN235 but just different in the stake composition, so besides being part of KF21 global supply chain for aerostructures, Indonesian Aerospace has the right to manufacture the plane more than 60 units. The participation is not license production, but Indonesian Aerospace is part of the developers since the first development phase (Technology Development Phase) which is started in 2011.
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Indonesia to Absorb 27 Thousand Workers during Mass Production of KF-21 Fighter Jets​


The prototype of the tandem variant of South Korea's latest generation fighter jet, the KF-21 Boramae, made its maiden flight on February 20, 2023. The prototype aircraft with tail number 004 was airborne for 34 minutes from 11:19 to 11:53. Instagram/Dapa_Korea_official

Ahmad Faiz Ibn Sani
Saturday, June 3, 2023 05:50 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Sacheon - The joint development project of the KF-21 Boramae fighter jet between Indonesia and South Korea is now in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) stage which is planned to last until 2026 before it is ready for mass production.

Senior Manager & Chief KFX Joint Development Management Team, Lee Sung-il said, in the mass production stage Indonesia will get a number of economic benefits. "There are 27 thousand jobs that will be created," he said when receiving a visit by 13 journalists participating in The Indonesian Next Generation Journalist Network on Korea organized by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) and the Korea Foundation at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) office, Sacheon, South Korea, Friday, June 2, 2023.

He said in this EMD phase, the Indonesian government will take a unit of aircraft to study its technology, development, operation, and production.

In this (current) EMD phase, there were 30 Indonesians participating. Two are pilots from the Air Force and the rest are engineers.

Large KF-21 Boramae Market Potential​

According to Lee Sung-il, the South Korean government will buy 128 KF-21 Boramae while Indonesia will buy 48 units.

Former Secretary General of the Defense Ministry Eris Herryanto revealed that there have been studies from various international institutions that show the interest of many countries in the fighter jet which cost 8.1 trillion Won or Rp 93.15 trillion (exchange rate: Rp 11.5) in its development.

Jane's HIS study estimates the number of fighter aircraft that can be absorbed by the KF-21 Boramae in priority market countries, namely India, Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Finland, and Sweden to reach 160 and 596 units, respectively. As for non-priority market countries, according to this study the odds range between 160 and 368 units

While calculations from the Strategic Defense Intelligent (SDI) in 2012 estimated 149 and 572 units of KF-21 Boramae will be absorbed by the market. The study from TEAL Group shows this fighter jet can be absorbed by the market between 599 and 869 units.

KF-21 Boramae Project Hit by Stalled Indonesian Financing

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) hopes that the Indonesian government will immediately disburse funds for the continuation of the KF-21 Boramae fighter jet project. In this project the Indonesian government bears 20 percent of financing, the South Korean government 60 percent, and the remaining 20 percent from KAI.

Financing from the Indonesian government has stalled since January 2019. An estimated 800 billion won (Rp 920 billion) has not been paid by the Indonesian government.
"This will cause huge side effects in the (KF-21 Boramae) development program," Lee Sung-il said.

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Through this project, continued Lee, Indonesia will also benefit from USD 10 billion. Although this is a big number, he hopes that Indonesia can also immediately pay its obligations.

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Indonesian Air Force's second test pilot. Lt. Col. Pnb Ferrel "Venom" Rigonald, successfully following in the footsteps of the Indonesian Air Force's first test pilot Colonel Pnb Muhammad "Mammoth" Sugiyanto, carried out a flight test mission for the future KF-21/IF-X Boramae fighter at Sacheon AFB, South Korea, Friday (2 /6/2023)


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