GE to Supply Engines for South Korea’s New Fighters


May 26, 2016, 06:15:00 AM EDT By Dow Jones Business News

SEOUL—General Electric Co. has clinched a deal to supply engines for South Korea’s next-generation fighter jets.

The U.S. conglomerate beat Eurojet Turbo GmbH, a European engine maker, to provide the F414-GE-400 engines, South Korea’sDefense Acquisition Program Administration said Thursday. A final contract will be signed next month, it said.

The agency didn’t disclose the deal value, but a person familiar with the matter estimated it at $3.5 billion. 

Korea officially launched the KF-X project early last year with plans to develop its own fighter jet by 2025, but it pushed back the target date because of a dispute with the U.S. over the transfer of key technology. It now plans to deploy 120 fighter jets by 2032.

A consortium of Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s sole military aircraft maker, and its technology-support partner, Lockheed Martin Corp., is leading the project.

Officials at Seoul’s arms-procurement agency said they would develop, acquire or localize all technologies needed for the project, but concerns remain over whether they can do so because Washington is reluctant to allow Lockheed to transfer key technologies related to radar and other core components.

As for the jet engines, Korea will initially purchase them from GE, which will later transfer the technology to local arms manufacturer Hanwha Thales Co. for production, the officials said.

Write to In-Soo Nam at


General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 154 in (391 cm)
  • Diameter: 35 in (89 cm)
  • Dry weight: 2,445 lb (1,110 kg) max weight





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