I don't think this will come as a huge surprise to anyone who has been following this closely:
South Korea is nearing a decision to buy some Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but may keep its options open for a limited purchase of Boeing Co's F-15, sources familiar with the country's fighter competition said on Wednesday.I've mentioned before I thought they'd buy both aircraft. But it is clear that the F-35 is the clearly desired aircraft, especially by the ROK Airforce. I'm of the opinion that the former bidding process was used to get the ROK a better deal on the F-35. But in the end, especially considering that the US, Japan, Singapore and Australia all will be flying the F-35, the decision was all but obvious.
South Korean officials could announce their plans as early as November to secure the funding needed to ensure initial deliveries of the F-35 in 2017, according to multiple sources who were not authorized to speak publicly. They cautioned that the decisions were not yet final, and an announcement could still be postponed if the decision-making process hits a snag.
South Korea's fighter competition has been closely watched given its importance to Boeing, which is keen to extend its F-15 production line beyond 2018, and to Lockheed, which is trying to drive down the price of the F-35 by securing more buyers.
And, as the last paragraph points out, a South Korean order will indeed help build that economy of scale that should see prices continue to come down.