Wednesday, May 29, 2013

F-35: South Korea's choice?

I mentioned this a couple of months ago, but it is worth an update.  This from a South Korean journalist.
Last month, Seoul made a separate request to purchase Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth fighter or Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle.

The Eurofighter Typhoon of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company is another candidate in the competition, through which Seoul seeks to purchase 60 jets to replace its aging F-4 and F-5 jets. The winner is expected to be announced next month.

Observers said the US products would be at an advantage in the contest given Seoul considers interoperability with US forces and alliance-related factors. But EADS has made attractive offers, such as investing $2 billion in Korea's project to develop indigenous fighters.
Note the key phrase.  While the EADS offer is attractive, with North Korea acting as it has for the past few years, and the history of US/South Korean relations, my guess is that attractive as it is, it won't be enough to swing the deal.  Additionally, remember what aircraft the Aussies, Japanese and Singapore have committed too.

If interoperability is a key consideration, along with 3rd generation stealth, etc., the F-35 is the fighter of choice.  We'll see, but that's how I see it.


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