South Korea To Make Aircraft Decisions In October
South Korea will select suppliers of military aircraft worth billions of dollars in October, a spokesman said May 25, despite calls from the main opposition party for further studies to be carried out.
The spokesman for the state Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said purchases will include 60 stealth fighters, 36 attack helicopters and eight Navy helicopters.
“We plan to announce the names of the suppliers in October,” the spokesman said, as tensions between the North and the South and its allies remain high over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
The contract for the stealth fighters is worth 8 trillon won ($6.7 billion), he said. Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Boeing’s F-15E, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Russia’s Sukhoi PAK-FA are reportedly competing for the deal.
Some 1.8 trillion won will be allocated to acquire 36 attack helicopters, with Boeing’s Apache, Eurocopter’s Tiger and Turkey’s T129 in competition, the spokesman said.
The massive weapons acquisition plans being pushed through in the last year of President Lee Myung-Bak’s presidency have sparked opposition criticism.
The Democratic United Party urged the government not to rush through the programme.
“Further study and review are needed before the government goes ahead with the purchase of weapons. If necessary, this project should be handed over to next government,” it said in a statement this week.
South Korea has already bought 60 of Boeing’s non-stealth F-15 fighter jets since 2002 under the first two stages of a fighter modernization program.
Source: 28 May 2012 - dailyairforce News
Photo: The South Korean Air Force F-15K Slam Eagles from the 11th Tactical Fighter Wing (Photo by widescreenstuff.com)