Indonesian engineers working on South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-21 fighter jet have been under investigation for allegedly stealing technologies related to the jet which is still under development.
The engineers who had been sent to work alongside KAI were accused of storing data on the aircraft’s development on a memory drive, according to South Korea’s arms procurement agency, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). A joint investigation including the country’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) is on-going to investigate the alleged theft. The investigation will be centred around whether the stored data comprise KF-21-related strategic technologies or not.
Indonesia is a partner of South Korea in the KF-21 programme, but the country’s commitment to the project has been in doubt due to Indonesia’s failure to bear 20% of the USD6.5 billion cost of developing the 4.5th-generation fighter since 2015. To date, Indonesia is still in arrears amounting to USD755.3 million.
Production of the aircraft is slated to take off later this year with an objective of having 120 KF-21s in service by 2032. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Defense Acquisition Program Administration)