Korea KF-X/ IF-X (KF-21) program

PutinBro

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Indonesian engineers at KAI probed for alleged tech theft of KF-21​


SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Indonesian engineers have been under investigation over allegedly stealing technologies related to the KF-21 fighter jet under development, the state-run procurement agency said Friday.


The engineers dispatched to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) are under suspicion of storing data on KF-21 development on a USB, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

"A joint investigation composed of related agencies, including the National Intelligence Service, is currently under way to look into the circumstances of the Indonesians' alleged technology theft," a DAPA official told reporters.

The probe is focused on whether the stored data contains strategic technologies related to the KF-21 development program, according to sources familiar with the issue. The Indonesians are currently banned from leaving South Korea.

Indonesia, a partner country of the KF-21 fighter jet development project, has failed to shoulder 20 percent of the project's cost of 8.8 trillion won (US$6.5 billion), raising questions over its commitment over the program launched in 2015.

Indonesia is estimated to have paid 278.3 billion won for the project so far and is behind in payments by nearly 1 trillion won.

South Korea plans to begin production of the KF-21 fighter jets later this year, with the aim of deploying 120 KF-21s by 2032.

 

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Indonesian engineers at KAI probed for alleged tech theft of KF-21​


SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Indonesian engineers have been under investigation over allegedly stealing technologies related to the KF-21 fighter jet under development, the state-run procurement agency said Friday.


The engineers dispatched to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) are under suspicion of storing data on KF-21 development on a USB, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

"A joint investigation composed of related agencies, including the National Intelligence Service, is currently under way to look into the circumstances of the Indonesians' alleged technology theft," a DAPA official told reporters.

The probe is focused on whether the stored data contains strategic technologies related to the KF-21 development program, according to sources familiar with the issue. The Indonesians are currently banned from leaving South Korea.

Indonesia, a partner country of the KF-21 fighter jet development project, has failed to shoulder 20 percent of the project's cost of 8.8 trillion won (US$6.5 billion), raising questions over its commitment over the program launched in 2015.

Indonesia is estimated to have paid 278.3 billion won for the project so far and is behind in payments by nearly 1 trillion won.

South Korea plans to begin production of the KF-21 fighter jets later this year, with the aim of deploying 120 KF-21s by 2032.



Indonesia made the choice to join the program with zero engineering input like SK offered us back in the day :D. Somehow Indonesia chose SK, now they are not pleased with the proces.
 

Chocopie

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Before even the investigation is concluded?
One Indonesian was caught red handed at the KAI security check stand. Other dispatched Indonesian engineers are investigated too.

Even without the alleged theft, Indonesia acted in bad faith during the whole KFX project.


 
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Spitfire9

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I wonder how much longer ROK will be prepared to 'partner' with Indonesia on this project.

Indonesia does not pay its share of development costs and fails to honour all undertakings to rectify the situation. There is suspicion of industrial espionage by one or more Indonesian engineers.
 

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China or Russia must have ordered espionage.
 

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No sensitive information found on those devices so far.

This is more like breach of protocol than thievery
 

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Quite remarkable that even with all the issues with co development of the jet Koreans were able to come this far this quick. We had a co development with the russians that didnt work as needed
 
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Chocopie

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I wonder how much longer ROK will be prepared to 'partner' with Indonesia on this project.

Indonesia does not pay its share of development costs and fails to honour all undertakings to rectify the situation. There is suspicion of industrial espionage by one or more Indonesian engineers.
The irony is, costs of accomodation and wages for dispatched Indonesian engineers and technicians are basically funded by KAI and Korean taxpayers due to years-long overdue payments by the Indonesian government.
 

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The irony is, costs of accomodation and wages for dispatched Indonesian engineers and technicians are basically funded by KAI and Korean taxpayers due to years-long overdue payments by the Indonesian government.
Unless Indonesia developed and holds technology essential to the programme, I see another country paying to take over Indonesia's share of the programme, by which means ROK should get its money back. Of course getting Indonesia out of the programme would probably lose any expected Indonesian orders for KF-21. That has to be considered. PS but the problems that would result from Indonesia not paying ROK suppliers for components et al supplied for its planned local production also have to be considered.

I don't think that Indonesia could be much more stupid in its conduct. Instead of getting a foothold in the world of advanced fighter design and construction at quite a low cost (around $1 billion), it looks like Indonesia has passed that opportunity up. Such opportunities do not come your way every day!

Additionally it has not helped its credibility in international financial contracts. I heard that export credit guarantee rates to insure payment to Dassault for Rafales ordered had gone up. It costs to screw people around financially.
 
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Chocopie

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Today's news report from SBS a few hours ago:


'Beep' just as the security checkpoint was passed ... โ€˜KF-21 confidential dataโ€™ poured out

On the 17th of last month, an alarm sounded the moment a man passed the security checkpoint of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Mr. A, a researcher dispatched from Indonesia who worked at KAI, was caught trying to go out with an USB stick that was prohibited from being taken out.

KAI immediately reported this to DAPA, the Defense Counterintelligence Command, the National Intelligence Service, and when the investigative authorities opened the USB, 49 confidential data files on the Korean supersonic fighter KF-21 poured out. (Sounds dramatically funny, a non literal translation would be more like: "when they searched the USB ... 49 confidential data files of the Korean fighter jet KF-21 were found.")

A KAI official explained that they did not discover any military secrets, saying they found a lot of general information.

However, as a result of SBS coverage, it was found that the USB contained key contents of the KF-21 development, such as test flight results and avionics technical data, as well as contents related to foreign sourced technology.

Many of the materials are confidential and cannot be accessed by Indonesian researchers, so investigative authorities have banned Mr. A from leaving the country and are also investigating the possibility of collusion by KAI insiders.


Especially, if the attempted leak contain advanced US and European technology, diplomatic issues could also arise.

[Song Bang-won/Chairman of Korea Defense Acquisition Forum: Only we are allowed to use American and European technology, and if it were leaked out, it could have a negative impact on the subsequent development and mass production of the KF-21.]

Indonesia agreed to receive one prototype and technical data and produce 48 fighter jets in Indonesia in exchange for 1.7 trillion won, which is 20% of the KF-21 development cost.

However, because of lack of budget approximately 1 trillion won are in arrears due to non-payment of contributions.

 
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Spitfire9

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Indonesia agreed to receive one prototype and technical data and produce 48 fighter jets in Indonesia in exchange for 1.7 trillion won, which is 20% of the KF-21 development cost.

However, because of lack of budget approximately 1 trillion won are in arrears due to non-payment of contributions.

I am pretty sure I can tell you why there isn't any money available for Indonesia to pay its share of KF-21 development costs. The money was spent buying Rafales.
 

Chocopie

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China or Russia must have ordered espionage.
Could be anybody, Western aerospace industry competitors, Japan, North Korea, Taiwan ... who knows?
Main suspect here is Indonesia.

Already seen foreign mil-bloggers on Twitter scribbeling unfounded takes that Indonesia wants to "buy" into Turkish KAAN project with the data. Pure speculations.

What I'm confident about: the US intelligence guys know almost everything about KF-21 ๐Ÿคฃ
 
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Chocopie

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I am pretty sure I can tell you why there isn't any money available for Indonesia to pay its share of KF-21 development costs. The money was spent buying Rafales.
Their Rafale procurement is financed through foreign loans from French Exim banks afaik.

For KFX/IFX they have to pay out of their own gov pockets and invest heavily in domestic production lines which they also didn't do. The current administration is obviously unwilled to fulfil signed contracts and put any significant money into the project.

After several rounds of re-negotiating and missing several payment plan dealines, absurd demand of ToT items and production share this partnership is as good as dead.
 
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Today's news report from SBS a few hours ago:


'Beep' just as the security checkpoint was passed ... โ€˜KF-21 confidential dataโ€™ poured out

On the 17th of last month, an alarm sounded the moment a man passed the security checkpoint of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Mr. A, a researcher dispatched from Indonesia who worked at KAI, was caught trying to go out with an USB stick that was prohibited from being taken out.

KAI immediately reported this to DARPA, the Defense Counterintelligence Command, the National Intelligence Service, and when the investigative authorities opened the USB, 49 confidential data files on the Korean supersonic fighter KF-21 poured out. (Sounds dramatically funny, a non literal translation would be more like: "when they searched the USB ... 49 confidential data files of the Korean fighter jet KF-21 were found.")

A KAI official explained that they did not discover any military secrets, saying they found a lot of general information.

However, as a result of SBS coverage, it was found that the USB contained key contents of the KF-21 development, such as test flight results and avionics technical data, as well as contents related to foreign sourced technology.

Many of the materials are confidential and cannot be accessed by Indonesian researchers, so investigative authorities have banned Mr. A from leaving the country and are also investigating the possibility of collusion by KAI insiders.


Especially, if the attempted leak contain advanced US and European technology, diplomatic issues could also arise.

[Song Bang-won/Chairman of Korea Defense Acquisition Forum: Only we are allowed to use American and European technology, and if it were leaked out, it could have a negative impact on the subsequent development and mass production of the KF-21.]

Indonesia agreed to receive one prototype and technical data and produce 48 fighter jets in Indonesia in exchange for 1.7 trillion won, which is 20% of the KF-21 development cost.

However, because of lack of budget approximately 1 trillion won are in arrears due to non-payment of contributions.

Speaking of the Indonesian, is s/he someone who was hired by KAI independently or transferred from PT.DI or one of the Indonesian partner companies in the partnership programme?
 

Spitfire9

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Their Rafale procurement is financed through foreign loans from French Exim banks afaik.

For KFX/IFX they have to pay out of their own gov pockets and invest heavily in domestic production lines which they also didn't do. The current administration is obviously unwilled to fulfil signed contracts and put any significant money into the project.

After several rounds of re-negotiating and missing several payment plan dealines, absurd demand of ToT items and production share this partnership is as good as dead.
Interesting to hear that Indonesia did not invest in domestic production. Sounds like the deal is dead. I imagine that ROK is talking to Poland (which has shown interest in joining the project) about replacing Indonesia.
 

Umigami

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Speaking of the Indonesian, is it someone hired by KAI, or transferred from PT. DI or any partner company from Indonesia?
As far as I know PT DI is the only Indonesian company contributing in IFX program.
 

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Anmdt

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As far as I know PT DI is the only Indonesian company contributing in IFX program.
This could be exacerbated if they are transferred from PT. DI, or if they find similar motives in other employees after investigating his actions. What has been Indonesia's response so far, anything official?
 

Umigami

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"Indonesian government is gathering all information regarding the allegations of involvement of an Indonesian engineer in the case related to the joint project with Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI) concerning the KF-21 fighter jet."


They also said only one engineer involved (instead of 2 like Korean media reported). He works on the project since 2016.
 

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