$2.0bn offered to S. Korea for jet deal
Eurofighter (EADS, BAE, Finmeccanica, INDRA) offered a $2.0 billion investment sweetener as it seeks to edge out US rivals for a contract to provide 60 advanced fighter planes to South Korea.
The consortium announced it would pump the cash into a separate South Korean project to develop its own advanced fighter jets, if it is chosen for the combat aircraft contract valued at 8.3 trillion won ($7.2 billion).
In the air force’s planning, KF-X will be a medium fighter, at first serving alongside and then replacing the KF-16, the locally built version of the F-16. Fighters above the KF-S rated as “high” grade—mainly meaning a greater payload range—would be the Boeing F-15K and whichever aircraft is chosen for the current F-X Phase 3 competition.
Three fighters are in the running for the procurement deal: Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
A decision is expected by the end of next month.
South Korea’s military procurement needs, especially where the air force is concerned, have overwhelmingly been met by US suppliers in the past — a reflection of their close military alliance.
Eurofighter (EADS) $2.0 billion investment offer is focused on South Korea’s KF-X program aimed at developing an indigenous multi-role combat fighter. “If the assembly of the Eurofighter and the KF-X program are conducted at the same time in Korea, it will bring economic effects worth dozens of trillions of won and create 50,000 jobs in Korea,” the EADS statement said. The consortium has already promised that 53 of the 60 Eurofighters will be assembled in South Korea if it wins the contract.
Source : AFP, AvWeek