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Hanwha and Doosan to Develop South Korea’s First Homegrown Fighter Jet Engine

Joint venture targets $2.2 billion defense project, positioning Korea as seventh nation with indigenous warplane engines
South Korea
h 012450.KO d 034020.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000
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Hanwha Aerospace Co. and Doosan Enerbility Co., South Korea’s leading defense and power plant companies, are collaborating to develop an advanced fighter jet engine. This project, spearheaded by the Agency for Defense Development, is part of a $2.2 billion initiative to make South Korea the seventh nation with a homegrown warplane engine.

Recently, Hanwha and Doosan completed the conceptual design phase, which outlines the engine’s core functions and form. They are now moving towards the basic design phase, where the detailed platform, production facilities, and structural configurations are defined. Their goal is to secure a contract from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) for a 15,000-pound-thrust-class turbofan engine, critical for the country’s KF-21 fighter jet program.

The project is set to receive at least 3 trillion won (approximately $2.2 billion) over the next decade, potentially rising to over 5 trillion won as it progresses. This investment aims to develop the necessary materials and technology for the revamped KF-21, which began mass production last month.

This development is crucial for South Korea’s defense industry, allowing it to circumvent export restrictions imposed by other countries. Currently, South Korean defense exports are often hindered by the need for approval from foreign manufacturers of key components, such as engines.

Hanwha, leveraging its expertise from producing core aircraft engine components, aims to evolve into a full-scale developer. It acquired US-based EDAC Technologies in 2019 to bolster its capabilities. Doosan, drawing on its gas turbine technology, has also expanded into aircraft engine development.

Only six countries— the US, UK, France, Russia, Ukraine, and China— currently possess the core technology for homegrown aircraft engines, making South Korea’s endeavor a significant step towards self-reliance in defense manufacturing.



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