South Korea to Push Ahead with Fighter Jet Purchases


Regular Member
Jan 26, 2011

SEOUL - South Korea will push ahead with the purchases of high-altitude spy drones and stealth fighter jets to strengthen deterrence against North Korea, its defense chief said March 8.

"We will acquire high-altitude unmanned reconnaissance planes to boost our surveillance capability against the enemy," Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin told reporters.

He also said his ministry would acquire fighter jets "with stealth capability at a suitable time".

"Last year, we endured North Korea's grave provocations... Now is the time to act boldly and wisely to make our military strong enough in the face of pending security threats," Kim said.

The defense ministry gave no timetable but the Yonhap news agency earlier reported that South Korea would speed up its deployment of stealth fighter jets and spy drones.

The South had originally planned to buy unmanned U.S.-made RQ-4 Global Hawks by 2015 but has decided to bring forward their purchase and deployment, Yonhap said.

Seoul sent a letter to Washington last year and is expected to receive final approval for the purchase of the world's most advanced spy planes in June, it said.

A state budget of 45.2 billion won ($40.4 million) was earmarked this year to partly pay for the drones, it said.

"If the U.S. side responds favorably to our letter by June, we expect to sign a preliminary contract on the purchase of the Global Hawks by the end of this year," a military source was quoted as saying.

South Korea also plans to buy 60 stealth fighter jets earlier than the previously scheduled date of 2015, Yonhap said.

Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing's newly designed F-15 Silent Eagle and the Eurofighter Typhoon made by a European consortium are expected to vie for the order estimated at 10 trillion won, the source was quoted as saying.

South Korea has already bought 60 of Boeing's non-stealth F-15 fighter jets under the first two stages of a fighter modernization program since 2002.

Military tensions have risen sharply since the March 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North, and the North's deadly shelling of a border island last November.

Source: AFP


Senior Member
Mar 18, 2011
S. Korea Says Fighter Bid Evaluations Begin Next Week
Jul. 5, 2012 - 03:02PM |

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea will soon start evaluating bids from U.S. and European firms in competition to win a $7.3 billion contract for 60 advanced fighter planes, the country's arms procurement agency said July 5.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said 15 experts would review the bids from July 9-14 before Air Force evaluators conduct flight tests.

Boeing (F-15 Silent Eagle), Lockheed Martin (F-35 Lightning II) and Eurofighter (Typhoon) have submitted renewed bids for a deal worth nearly 8.3 trillion won ($7.3 billion), it said.

The state agency had set an initial June 18 deadline for bids. The three firms tendered their offers, but the agency reopened bidding, cited errors in relevant documents.

South Korea aims to select the winner in November, but officials hinted that the selection could be delayed.

"With the bids having been submitted, we now have to go through testing and negotiations," Oh Tae-Sik, a senior DAPA official, told Yonhap news agency. "These won't be easy steps. Depending on how long they take, the final decision may be put off until into the next administration [in early 2013]."

DAPA said earlier that some technical requirements would be tested on simulators because core parts of all three jets are still under development.

South Korea has bought 60 of Boeing's earlier-version F-15s since 2002 under the first two stages of its fighter modernization program. It plans to purchase 60 fighter jets by 2021.

S. Korea Says Fighter Bid Evaluations Begin Next Week | Defense News |

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