Saturday, October 8, 2011


       Jakarta, Oct 8, 2011 (ANTARA) - Famed South Korean actor Hyun Bin caught the Indonesian media`s attention when he attended the celebration of the 66th anniversary of the National Defense Forces (TNI) in Jakarta, last October 5, 2011.
       Heartthrob Hyun Bin (29), a member of South Korea`s Marine Corps who was appointed South Korea`s defense industry ambassador, received an Honorary Marine Brevet from the Indonesian Navy for his services.

       The awarding of the honorary brevet to Hyun Bin was a symbol of the strong and good relations between the navies of the two countries, Major General M Alfan Baharudin, the commander of the Indonesian Marine Corps, said recently.
       The bilateral defense ties did not stop at just the visit of Hyun Bin as the cooperation symbol, because the two countries have agreed to move further toward concrete activities, such as through cooperation in developing jet fighters in a program called the Korean-Indonesia Fighter experiment project.
       Indonesia and South Korea have also held talks to make aircraft purchase and sale deals. Indonesia wants to buy South Korean T-50 Golden Eagle trainers and is offering to sell CN-235 cargo planes.
      There is also a report of likely US$1 billion deal to buy attack submarines made by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine.

South Korea and Indonesia agreed to boost defense industry cooperation when the leaders of the two sides held a summit in the Indonesian resort island of Bali last December.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono dispatched a special envoy to Seoul for discussions on ways to follow up on the summit deal to expand bilateral economic ties. Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa led the 50-member delegation of government officials and business leaders.

The two governments signed a Letter of Intent on the project on March 6, 2009, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on July 15, 2010, a non-disclosure agreement on November 20, 2010, an intellectual property right as well as a project agreement on March 11, 2011.

Indonesia and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding for defense cooperation in Jakarta on September 9, 2011. The defense cooperation includes defense industry and transfer of technology cooperation.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said defense cooperation with South Korea was for the purpose of developing the two countries` defense industries and self-reliance.

"It is for the two countries` progress and at the same time proof of how close the relations between Indonesia and South Korea are, so that Indonesia can later learn from South Korea with regard to our efforts to become self-reliant," Purnomo said.

He said Indonesia could take South Korea as an example in how it has learned in stages from US defense industry in its efforts to develop its industry.

The minister said the cooperation with South Korea was very important with regard to achieving self-reliance and the development of the nation`s power.

The two countries also agreed to conduct joint production and transfer of technology for landing platform dock (LPD) type ship building and submarine building through Indonesian state-owned ship building company PT PAL and Daewoo Shipbuilding.

Besides in the maritime field the two countries are also exploring possible cooperation in aviation industry such as production of a KFX/IF-X fighter plane.

Following the signing, Minister Purnomo and his South Korean counterpart Kim Kwan-Jin exchanged souvenirs. Purnomo gave a model of CN-235, while his counterpart presented a model of T-50 Golden Eagle fighter jet.

Purnomo said "this is the T-50 that we are going to buy. And this is very powerful." Minister Kwan-Jin responded to it warmly while saying "that this plane may also fly high" referring to CN-235 model.

Both nations have explored purchase of T-50 fighter jet from South Korea and procurement of CN-235 by South Korea.

Several countries are already using CN-235s, including Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Pakistan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier, South Korea had ordered four CN-235/MPAs based on a contract signed in 2008 worth US$94.5 million. The planes are expected to be delivered in 2012.

South Korea has ordered the CN-235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to complete the fleet of its marine police. The CN-235/MPA is the latest version of maritime patrol produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia. It is equipped with radar to detect ships.

The aircraft could also be equipped with weapons such as an anti-submarine torpedo and others. South Korea is also user of CN-235s of the VVIP version.

A Seoul official said as quoted by Yonhap news agency recently that Indonesia was expected to pick South Korea as the preferred negotiator for its planned purchase of an advanced trainer jet.

It would mark a major breakthrough in Seoul`s efforts to export the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet.

"I heard that Indonesia`s leadership has virtually approved a plan to designate South Korea as preferred negotiator," the government official said on the condition of anonymity.

"Only the process of administratively notifying us (of the decision) remains and it seems to be going well."

The state-run Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) developed the aircraft in partnership with Lockheed Martin and began mass production in 2005.

In July 2010, a delegation from South Korea visited Indonesia to discuss the purchase of T-50.

Speaking to newsmen after attending the 65th commemoration of the TNI-AU Anniversary in April 2011, Air Chief Marshal Imam Sufaat said TNI-AU would acquire a squadron or 16 units of South Korean-made T50 Golden Eagle aircraft.

The procurement of the new training airplanes was part of the Indonesian Air Force`s efforts to meet its minimum essential force by 2024, he said.

"These training planes are expected to have been received by 2012," he said, adding that the T50 Golden Eagle planes would replace the British Hawk 53 MKs.

Indonesia and Korea have also begun a program to jointly develop a future fighter aircraft codenamed KF-X/IF-X (Korea Fighter Experiment)/Indonesia Fighter Experiment).

State aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) has sent 35 personnel to South Korea to make preparations for the joint production of 4.5th generation fighter aircraft.

"We sent 35 personnel to Korea last month. They were sent to carry out an assignment given to PT DI by the government, in this case the defense ministry," PT DI Director of Technology and Business Development Dita Ardonni Jafri said recently.

The preparations would take a long time as the certificate would only be issued in 2020, he said.

The KF-X/IF-X program will begin a technology development phase for a year (2011-2012), to carry out studies on system requirements, configuration requirements, and core technology development.

From 2013 to 2020, the program will start an engineering manufacture development phase, conduct a preliminary design, detailed design, and prototype production certification. Full production is expected to begin in 2021.

The program consists of activities to design, produce, integrate and test the aircraft.

The fighter jet to be made under the program would be of a higher class than the F-16 or Sukhoi-30 because it would be of the 4.5th generation but still be lower than the US` F-35 which was a fifth generation aircraft, he said.

The aircraft will have a combat capability within a radius of 600 nautical miles, an endurance of 4.5 hours and a payload including armaments of up to 6,000 kg.

The K-FK/I-FX jet fighter project has won admiration from Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Theo Chee Hean. "It`s amazing ...", he said when he was received by Minister Purnomo in Jakarta last September 2011. ***6***

(T.F001/A/F001/A/H-YH) 08-10-2011 23:53:09

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