Posted : 2011-10-14 15:08
Updated : 2011-10-14 15:08

Eurojet offers Korea chance to join consortium

Paul Herrmann
Eurojet vice president
By Jung Sung-ki

Korea has a chance to join a European military engine consortium for joint manufacturing, development and marketing. The offer is conditional to the country deciding to power its new-generation aircraft with a European engine, according to a key executive from Eurojet Turbo GmbH. Eurojet is a four-nation military aerospace engine consortium involving the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany.

The consortium has already secured orders of 1,500 EJ200 engines internationally and expects hundreds more, according to Paul Herrmann, Eurojet’s vice president-sales, as India and other nations are considering buying Eurofighter jets, powered by the EJ200 engine that can produce a maximum thrust of 20,000 pounds with afterburner.

“If I look at Korea, a country which is technologically developed, we can transfer technology that can help you make engines for yourself,” Herrmann said at a joint press briefing in Seoul. “We want to sell not only engines but also relevant technology.”

If South Korea joins the Eurojet consortium, it would not only be involved in Korean engines but also involved in 1,500 engines globally through a lenient technology transfer under a broader industrial partnership, Hermann said.

India is set to procure about 190 fighter jets in the years to come with Eurofighter and France’s Rafale competing for the tender.

South Korea is also scheduled to open the third phase of its F-X fighter acquisition program next year. Eurofighter is a potential candidate for the 9-trillion-won deal, which currently involves American aerospace groups Lockheed Martin with the F-35 Lightening II and Boeing with the F-15 Silent Eagle.

Herrmann hinted his company was interested in joining the KF-X effort aimed at developing an indigenous F-16 class fighter over the next decade. More than 200 aircraft are to be built under the KF-X program.

“What is important for us is to get our engine into an aircraft outside the Eurofighter. There is in Korea a candidate, called KF-X,” said the vice president. “The KF-X is a masterpiece because this is a fully indigenous, very modern aircraft program.”

He continued, “We would offer the (EJ200) engine with at least by 60 percent of technology transfer, which means 60 percent of the engine would be made in Korea and could be made from the first engine.”

South Korea could receive a more lenient technology transfer than from the United States, as the procurement of U.S. weapons systems is “always limited by export licenses,” Herrmann noted.

Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce, which has about a 40 percent share of the Eurojet consortium, expressed hope that it could have more business opportunities in Korea.

The engine company has developed a solid partnership with Korean customers with over 400 engines in service with Korean airliners, Armed Forces and government agencies.

The company is seeking to provide the LHTEC CTS800 engine for a program designed to build 200 or more light-armed helicopters and supply the Trent 700 for air-to-air refueling tankers. It is also bidding to provide the AE 3007 for Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles and the EJ200 for the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic jet.

In an effort to broaden its global research and development network, Rolls-Royce has operated the University Technology Center (UTC) at Pusan University in the southern port city of Busan since 2008.
관련 한글 기사

[단독] 유로젯, ‘KF-X사업 위해 한국에 60% 기술 전수’

정성기 기자

유럽의 대형 엔진 컨소시움인 유로젯社는 한국이 유럽 전투기를 구매하거나 KF-X사업에 유럽이 참여할 경우 유럽의 핵심 엔진기술을 최소 60% 이전하겠다고 밝혔다.

유로젯은 영국과, 독일, 이탈리아, 스페인이 EJ200엔진을 공동으로 생산하고 있으며 이미 주문 물량이 1,500대에 가깝다. 향후 인도 및 기타 국가가 유럽 전투기를 구매할 경우 주문 물량은 더 늘어날 것이며 한국은 공동 생산 및 개발에도 참여 가능하다는 입장이다.

폴 허먼 유로젯 판매부문 부사장은 13일 서울에서 가진 기자회견에서, “이미 기술적으로 뛰어난 역량을 가진 한국은 기술이전을 통해 엔진 생산 능력을 더욱 키울 수 있을 것”이라며 “우리는 단순히 엔진을 파는 것 뿐만이 아니라 기술을 이전할 의향이 있다”라고 밝혔다.

허먼 부사장의 발언은 현재 한국이 3차 F-X전투기 사업에서 유로파이터가 미국 록히드 마틴사의 F-35전투기와 보잉사의 F-15사일런트 이글 기종과 치열한 경합을 벌이고 있는 가운데 나온 것이어서 주목된다.

허먼 부사장은 특히 KF-X 한국형 전투기 사업에 더 큰 관심을 보였다. 기자회견 이후 가진 인터뷰에서 그는 “우리가 중요하게 생각하는 것은 유럽 전투기 외에 다른 전투기에 우리 엔진을 장착 하는 것”이라며 “한국의 경우 KF-X라는 독자적이고 매우 현대적인 전투기 개발 사업이 있으며 이는 우리의 계획과 잘 맞아 떨어지는 사업”이다 라고 설명했다.

그는 특히 “유로젯을 KF-X 엔진으로 선정할 경우 엔진 기술의 60%이상을 이전할 의향이 있으며 이는 전체 생산 물량의 60%는 한국에서 생산되는 것을 의미한다”라고 강조했다.

허먼 부사장은 미국과 다르게 유럽의 경우 수출 승인에 대한 제약이 없기 때문에 한국에게는 큰 이익이 될 것이라고 덧붙였다.

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