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KF-X fighter project hits turbulence over tech

South Korean President Park Geun-hye, center, attended the rollout ceremony for Korea Aerospace's modified T-50 trainer for the U.S. military in December.

SEOUL -- Korea Aerospace Industries is aiming high with its ambitious project to develop South Korea's first homegrown fighter jet, but friction with Washington over the transfer of crucial technologies may leave it grounded.

     CEO Ha Sung-yong told reporters Jan. 28 that his company is taking on a goal without precedent in South Korea's aerospace industry: the KF-X project, on which development had begun a week earlier. Korea Aerospace aims to finish the design process in 2019, complete a prototype two years later and wrap up development in 2026.

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