SEOUL, South Korea’s arms procurement agency said Saturday that Indonesia’s reported plan to purchase F-15EX jets from the U.S. defense giant, Boeing, and France’s Rafale fighters is “separate” from a joint warplane development project between the two countries.

Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) made the comment after reports emerged that the Southeast Asian country plans to purchase the fighters between 2021 and 2024 amid speculation that it might want to quit the KF-X joint fighter development program with Korea.

“We assess that (Indonesia’s purchase plan) is a matter separate from the KF-X joint development scheme,” the DAPA said in a press release. “It is a move that Indonesia has already been seeking to boost Indonesia’s Air Force power.

DAPA also noted that Indonesia has expressed its intention to continue to participate in the KF-X project.

“Through multiple working-level consultations, the two countries have been conducting negotiations in a mutually beneficial way,” it said.

South Korea has been working on the KF-X project since 2015 to develop a homegrown cutting-edge fighter aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets.

Source: Yonhap News Agency