U.S.-Korea Fighter Coproduction Program--the F-16 Version

T-NSIAD-91-53: Published: Aug 1, 1991. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1991.

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GAO discussed the preliminary work on the F-16 version of the Korean Fighter Program. GAO noted that: (1) program negotiation delays, price increases, and political factors contributed to the Koreans' reevaluation of the original decision to select the F/A-18 aircraft; (2) the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) generally improved the U.S.-Korea memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the program, but made an additional change that could create a technical weakness in one provision; (3) the new MOU has not determined or adequately documented the specific parts that Korea will be authorized to produce for a number of systems; (4) the Air Force's assessment of the program's impact on the U.S. industrial base had methodological problems and included questionable data; (5) while more U.S. jobs would result with the sale of the F-16, Korea will manufacture most of the airframe for the last 72 aircraft; and (6) for the first 48 aircraft, U.S., Korean, and other countries' work shares were uncertain, and unless the manufacturer limits the first 48 Korean fighters, the airframes are likely to include European and other foreign parts and components.

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