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South Korea military chiefs endorse $10.2b development plan for home-built fighters

Published on Jul 18, 2014 3:02 PM

SEOUL, July 18 (Reuters) - South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff endorsed a plan on Friday for the country to design its own mid-level fighter jet, which a state think tank estimated will cost up to 8.5 trillion won (S$10.2 billion) to develop.

Dubbed the KF-X programme, the fighter jet is expected to be built by the country's sole jet builder, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI), after being co-developed with Lockheed Martin Corp, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The Joint Chiefs said in a statement that they had endorsed a twin-engine fighter jet to be developed for delivery starting in 2025.

KAI makes the T-50 family of jets, South Korea's first home-built light trainer and fighter, which was co-developed by Lockheed Martin. South Korea is also buying F-35 fighters from Lockheed Martin.

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