Just in, from Reuters:
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff were expected to endorse an "all F-35 buy" of 40 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and an option for 20 more at a meeting on Nov. 22, two sources familiar with the competition said on Friday.If true (and there's no reason to believe it isn't, given all the other reports coming out of ROK recently), that shoots my theory that it would be a mixed buy down. Also, by agreeing to early procurement, a buy that size will help further drive the price of the F-35 down as LM will be able to ramp up production.
The Joint Chiefs' decision must be approved by a committee chaired by the South Korean defense minister at a meeting in early December, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
A decision by the Joint Chiefs to purchase only F-35s would be a setback for Boeing Co, which had hoped to sell Seoul at least some F-15 fighters as a hedge against delays in the F-35 fighter program, which is completing development.
One source said South Korea was sticking to its initial plan to buy 60 jets to preserve the terms of an industrial offset package that accompanied the Lockheed offer and included a satellite to be launched and placed in orbit.