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IFX Indonesian Fighter Experiment (KF21/IFX program)

Some of design work (for double seat version) and manufacturing work of components of KF21/IFX prototypes conducted in Bandung, Indonesia, in 2020.

This the activities conducted by some engineers after 116 Indonesian engineers come back home in March 2020 after design phase is completed in 2019 September (CDR).

Most of the engineers though were working for domestic program like Elang Hitam MALE UCAV and N 219 program (Improvement and N 219 Amphibious version)

Taken from Indonesian Aerospace Annual Report for the year 2020.


Single seat and Double seat KF21 is not really different, only in the areas on canopy that we see differences.

KF21 double seat.jpg

KF21 variation.jpg
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Indonesian second test pilot in KF21/IFX program

KF21 Indo test pilot.jpg

KF21 Indo second test pilot 1.jpg


Indonesian journalists visited Korea Aerospace (Many female journalists)

Indonesian engineers.jpg
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KF21 final flying prototype (prototypes sixth) for KF21 block 1 development has made successful maiden flight. AlhamduliLLAH so far the development doesnt have any meaningful hurdle and the program is expected to start its initial limited mass production stage next year in 2024.

KF21 Prototypes sixth.jpg

All flying KF21 prototypes

All KF21 prototypes.jpg
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Prabowo is asked by one reporter about KF21/IFX payment and he said that Indonesia will commit on all the commitments with Korea related to the program. The payment issues are later reported again by almost all Indonesian medias after this press conference (related to Jokowi and Prabowo meeting on the Jakarta palace) because many media reporters were present during this time and this issue regarding Indonesian payment look like is interesting for the media. Previously many medias were also making the news about Indonesian payment when many of them are invited by Korean to see KF21/IFX development in Korean Aerospace complex.

I would say the Indonesian medias support the program and urge current administration to commit with their financial commitment. The explanation by Korean to Indonesian journalist and their tour in Korean Aerospace recently is quite good for the program I would say. Korean staff related to defense cooperation in Jakarta Embassy has to be more open with Indonesian journalist in order to bring correct information to Indonesian people in order for the program to have more support in here.

Starting from minutes 2.58


About Korean Fighter Jet Debt, Sri Mulyani Waits for Prabowo's Info​

Model of fighter jet IFX/ KFX. (Randy / detikcom)

NEWS - Arrijal Rachman, CNBC Indonesia
July 04, 2023 12:55 PM

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati admitted that she did not know the latest information regarding the payment debt or cost share of KF-21 Boramae or KFX / IFX.

Indonesia has a cooperation contract agreement for the manufacture of KFX / IFX fighter jets with South Korea. In this agreement, South Korea bears 60% of the financing and the rest is divided equally through a cost-sharing scheme between Indonesia and Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) of 20% each.

The total cost share to be paid by the Government of Indonesia is around Rp24.8 trillion. Meanwhile, Indonesia has only paid 17% of its obligations and 83% has not been repaid to date.

Sri Mulyani confirmed that her party had not received an update related to this matter so she could not provide further comment.

"I haven't updated about it because it's a transaction at the Ministry of Defense, if we are at the Ministry of Finance, it will be processed if it's an agreement," she said," Sri Mulyani said in the House of Representatives, Tuesday (4/7/2023).

"We haven't been able to update not yet have any communication, haven't been updated," she added.

Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said he would pay off the bill for the KF-21 or KFX fighter jet that had been billed by the Korea Aero Space Industry. Although the negotiation process will continue to be carried out with the South Korean side.

"Yes, we will indeed continue to negotiate with them, anyway we will fulfill our commitments," Prabowo said at the Presidential Palace Complex, Monday (26/6/2023).

Prabowo explained that he would fulfill Indonesia's commitment with the South Korean side. "Yes, we basically fulfill our commitment to them," Prabowo said.

The Korea Ministry of Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) recently announced that the prototype of the sixth KF-21 Boramae or KFX/IFX fighter jet made by Korea Aeropace Industries (KAI) successfully completed its first flight or flight test.

"All prototypes have been flight-tested and ready for mass production, and will be deployed to the Korean Air Force starting in 2026. Indonesia can also be deployed in the near future if it participates normally in the project, such as cost-sharing payments," said First Secretary of Defense Industry and Acquisition Cooperation of the South Korean Embassy Kim Hyun-wook in a short message, quoted Tuesday (7/4/2023).

Communication problem, there you go just next to you Mr. Prabowo... (several days ago)

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Well based on Finance Ministry official, Indonesia has once again paid the cost share this year and next year has been budgeted as well, but the figure is not as big as Korean wants, but at least current government still contribute some financing on the program, that is that important according to me.

The facility for IFX production has been built as well despite the production equipment is still not yet completed, but production hangars and some production equipment have already been in Indonesian Aerospace complex, even they extend the land owned by Indonesian Aerospace in order to have additional production facility for IFX. This shows that Indonesia is serious on the program.

Previously, for some years they dont even pay a penny for the program although 116 Indonesian engineers were still in Korea until the design phase is formally completed in September 2019. The engineers (mostly work for plane design) went home in March 2020 when the prototype manufacturing phase has already been started.

Regarding plan to acquire 24 KF21, it is immidiate program as the presentation made by Prabowo talks about immediate acquisition plan, so dont spin it as if Indonesia only want to order 24 of KF21....So better interpretation of that is that the initial acquisition of the plane is for 24 plane first which will be continued with other phase of acquisition..step by step and this is some what that is usually done by Indonesian Defense Ministry, even for Rafale order it is still for 6 planes, while until now the rest of the planes are not yet ordered.

I also have said many times here that in Indonesia we have law regarding defense acquisition where foreign defense equipment is banned to be ordered if there is local alternative made by local defense industry. So KF21 is very likely to be ordered more than just 48 plane, by seeing there is production facility of the plane in Indonesia, of course it is very unlikely we only order 48 planes, or even 24 planes....
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Understanding current Indonesian gov situation related to its KFX/IFX payment issues.


Written by Indos

1. Prabowo wants to get elected, so he wants to be seen as successful defense minister, so his buying spree action is seen to make him win public support, despite maybe he doesnt know that if he doesnt finance KF21 properly then he will get public backlash and this will haunt him in the upcoming Presidential debate as he is seen as prioritizing importing foreign plane than Korean-Indonesian joint fighter program which is a national program amid limited defense ministry budget.

2. Prabowo is Jokowi rival in 2019 election, bringing Prabowo to the cabinet will strenghten Jokowi position in parliament related to Omnibus Law, Nusantara Capital City, and reducing fuel subsidy which are very important Jokowi program. So Jokowi will not intervene much on how Prabowo manage its own budget.

3. KFX/IFX program is Defense Minister program and should be paid by Defense Ministry budget, this is what is understood by the cabinet members. Jokowi first administration can pay the program normally for 2015, 2016, and 2019 payment where the defense budget is actually not really different with current defense budget. What is obvious is that within Jokowi first administration they dont order much imported equipment.

4. Indonesian administration is very economic centric since Soeharto period (1967 above). Economy become their main drive and goal. Indonesian administration during Jokowi period is even more economic centric, they dont even order much foreign equipment before Prabowo become Defense Minister in Jokowi second term.

5. Indonesian Defense Ministry buying spree on various foreign defense equipment lately is financed by long term foreign loan, not fresh cash money.

6. Any R&D program with total cost above 500 million USD is expected to be difficult to be financed properly due to so many pressing needs as developing country with GDP per capita at 4500 USD (2022). The financing constrain is also likely to happen due to our law that limits gov budget deficit maximum at 3% of GDP which has already been applied since early 2000's after the country gets hurt by Asian Financial Crisis (1997-1998)

R&D program is not put as very important by many Indonesian administrations, they do have R&D program but not really that enough, for example current administration cannot fund R80 civilian plane program despite it is 100 % Indonesian project and can bring pride to the nation with sound business logic due to Indonesian archipelago characteristic and its huge population and growing economy. R80 program only needs around 1 billion USD financing for development until it gets type certificate but this administration cannot finance it due to various pressing issues. For information, currently the plane basic design has already been completed.

If R&D program total cost is less than 300 million USD than current gov will likely support it fully as it is still reasonable for them, while KF21/IFX program needs Indonesia to spend at 1.3 billion USD which is likely considered as too expensive by current gov economists. So the delay in the payment should be expected to happen, but Indonesia is very very unlikely to abandon its financial commitment on the program.

This is why development program like HSR train, medium tank, rockets, N219, N219 Amphibious, and MALE UCAV can get sufficient gov financial support. MALE UCAV program is also not stopped but currently is working on the mission system development.

Indonesian Indigenous HSR train development


7. Jokowi Nusantara project needs to be speed up as he is about to finish the job in November 2024, he still can finance the project until 2025 as 2025 gov budget is still set during his term in July/August 2024. Nusantara project is Jokowi own baby, while KFX/IFX program is a program that is initiated by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration since 2009 (currently serve as opposition to Jokowi administration in parliament) when South Korea asked Indonesia to join the program.

So, what is next to expect?

Nevertheless, I believe any Indonesian administration will support the program. The program has already reached the phase where it will be very damaging politically for Indonesian gov to get out from the project. Current government start paying the development cost again after renegotiation is completed in 2021 November, it is despite the amount is not really large, but they have started paying it. What Prabowo means on recent conversation with Indonesian journalist when he said that he still negotiate with Korea while he also said that Indonesia will commit on its obligation is more related with the payment schedule.

Next administration of course will get the highest burden related to the financing, despite so next administration will likely inherit larger GDP, larger gov revenue, and much healthy economic conditions. Next administration will also the one that will likely get the most credit if they fully support the program since the first plane being manufactured in Indonesia will likely be roll out during their period. They also will not have the same urge as current gov to complete Nusantara city project as soon as possible and will likely see it as long term plan thus will likely be more relax compared to current gov regarding to Nusantara city development.

Next administration, in my opinion, will likely have more seriousness in building defense technology due to the nation ambition will likely be raised starting in 2025. Extreme poverty is also expected to be successfully eliminated next year during the last year of Jokowi administration. This then will give more budget space for gov R&D programs.

The Indonesian economists also have already realized the importance of home ground technology development and current gov also has already completed making Indonesia long term development plan last month (2025-2045) where home grown technology development is seen as a very important aspect of development for the country to reach developed status in 2045, so I predict the next administration will likely disburse much larger financing for any important R&D program compared to current one, could be much bigger than people may currently think.

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Prabowo is asked again by reporter about KFX/IFX payment and he said Indonesia will complete the payment because the program continuation is already decided by President and he will talk to Ministry of Finance about the issue.

Jokowi Reveals Content of Meeting with Prabowo at the Palace Yesterday

Marlinda Oktavia Erwanti - detikNews
Tuesday, 11 Jul 2023 12:36 WIB


"When asked whether the meeting also discussed the unresolved issue of the KF-21 fighter jet financing, Jokowi said no. Nevertheless, Jokowi made sure he would ask the Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani."But I don't discuss KFX either. I don't talk about it. Regarding KFX, I will ask the Minister of Finance what the status is," he said.


Indonesia ‘committed' to KF-21 project despite payment plan delay​

10 JULY 2023

by Akhil Kadidal

The fifth prototype of the KAI KF-21 will be delivered to Indonesia after 2026 if Jakarta fulfils its required financial commitment to the programme. (DAPA)

Indonesia is “committed” to the joint development of the KF-21/IFX fighter development programme despite missing a deadline to provide South Korea with a payment timetable for the project, according to an industry source.

On 3 July the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that Indonesia was yet to provide the new plan for payment. The agency added that it seeks to hold talks with Indonesia about the matter. The Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase has a value of KRW8.1 trillion (USD6.2 billion), according to Janes data. Indonesia has agreed to pay 20% of developmental costs or approximately KRW1.6 trillion (USD1.2 billion).

A state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) source told Janes that “Indonesia [is] still commit[ted] to continue the joint development of the ... programme”.

For update Information (Directly from my source in Indonesian Aerospace)

The component manufacturing facility for aluminum part in Indonesian Aerospace get more capacity this year that will be beneficial for all products made in Indonesian Aerospace, including for N219 and KF21/IFX mass production (for Aluminum made part only).

For composite manufacturing for KF21/IFX, it still needs additional fund to build it.

Indonesia's contribution to the development of the KF-21 Boramae. SUPER Publisher Note: This article was written together with colleagues from the Facebook page, discussing non-sensitive information obtained from PTDI publications as well as interviews with Indonesian engineers who are directly involved with the KFX/IFX program.

------Due to the renewed popularity of the KF-21 news due to the United Arab Emirates' interest in the South Korean fighter aircraft project, I feel it would be appropriate if we looked at what contribution Indonesia has made to this program.

The KF-21 is a 4.5 generation fighter aircraft jointly developed by South Korea and Indonesia with the assistance of third party countries. The KF-21 successfully made its first flight on July 19 2022. However, the development process for the KF-21 under the name of the KF-X/IF-X Program did not always run smoothly.

So far, there has been a lot of negative sentiment and many questions have arisen about Indonesia's contribution to the KF-X/IF-X program.Many people think that Indonesia is just a "parasite" who wants to take information/technology without giving anything in return.

However, is this true?

The following is non-sensitive information obtained from PTDI publications as well as interviews with Engineers from Indonesia who were involved in one of the development stages of the KF-X/IF-X Program.This information will also be presented in the form of an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) with direct answers.


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