The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) will finalize the purchase of 40 Lockheed Martin’s next-generation F-35 jet fighter jets later this year.
"We will push to sign the contract in the third quarter, after testing and further negotiations," Jung Kwang-Sun, the DAPA’s aircraft department director, was quoted as saying by various media report.
The South Korean air force has been looking to upgrade its ageing fleet of Boeing F-4 and F-5 fighters in the light of North Korea's growing nuclear threat.
Jung did not specifically name the F-35s, but in November 2013, Yonhap News reported that Seoul will purchase 40 Lockheed Martin's F-35A stealth fighters from 2018, with an option to buy 20 more later.
The absence of a stealth capability was behind the military's decision in September 2013 to block a $7.7 billion deal to buy 60 of Boeing's F-15 fighters. The Boeing aircraft was the only one to come in under the $7.7 billion budget approved by parliament.
The tender has since been adjusted, although Jung declined to give details on the cost of the 40 F-35s, which is awaiting both finance ministry and parliamentary approval.
"If we choose to buy F-35s, we will choose to buy the F-35A that has been adopted by the US Air Force," he said, adding they would be delivered from 2018 onwards.
The F-35A takes off and lands conventionally. The F-35B variant can land vertically, like the obsolete Harrier plane, and its users will include the US Marines and Britain's armed forces.
Korean lawmakers are urging the government to renegotiate the purchase of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth fighters by including technology transfer and local assembly in US$7.2 billion deal
South Korea will purchase 40 Lockheed Martin's F-35A stealth fighters from 2018, with an option to buy 20 more later, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) was quoted as saying by Yonhap News. JCS Chairman Choi Yun-hee held a meeting of top commanders to approve the plan to buy the 40 F-35 Block 3s, which are capable of conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with internal carriage and external stations for missiles and bombs
South Korea has temporarily suspended bidding its fighter jet project worth on a $7.3 billion only four days after reopening applications because bidders failed to meet the budget limit, Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday
Marking a major departure of traditional flight-testing during the procurement phase, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 will be tested on a simulator for South Korea’s FX-III project. As Seoul prepares to buy an advanced fleet of 60 stealth fighters, the country is currently reviewing bids from Boeing's F-15 SE, Lockheed's F-35 and EADS Eurofighter
South Korea reserves 246.5 billion won ($218 million) from its revised mid-term defense plan on cybersecurity over five years to fight growing threats from North Korean hackers
The US Marine Corps F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program would be delayed further due to glitches in software development and testing, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Earlier reports said the F-35s is scheduled to reach “initial operating capability” by mid-2015
The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program. "We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements
South Korea will benefit from economies of scale when production of the F-35 stealth jet goes into full swing in the next five years if it signs a contract for 40 aircraft for delivery starting from 2018, a senior Lockheed Martin official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency. "Seoul is set to confirm a plan to buy 40 F-35As through the U
Israel is planning to adopt indigenously-built Stand-Off guided weapons for the F-35 fighters they are buying. Rafael has begun work to merge the Spice 1000 Electro-Optically, Stand-Off guided weapon to bomber, according to C4Defence
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