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Korea confirms F-35 selection

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 25, 2014
South Korea has confirmed it will buy 40 F-35As. (LM)
South Korea has confirmed it will buy 40 F-35As. (LM)

The Republic of Korea has confirmed it has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II to fulfil its F-X requirement.

Korea announced it would buy 40 F-35As at a projected cost of US$6.8bn (A$7.44bn), beating out bids from Boeing with its F-15SE, and the Eurofighter Typhoon by Airbus Military.

“We are honoured by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and U.S. governments in support of a final agreement this year,” said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president.  “This decision strengthens and extends our long-standing security partnership while enhancing regional stability across the greater Asia Pacific theatre.”

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The F-35A will replace the F-4 and F-5 in Korean service, and will be complemented by more than 100 upgraded F-16C/Ds and 60 F-15Ks.

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4 Comments

  • aussie0000

    says:

    is anyone surprised at the purchase of the USA units??? Bet it was not based on financial calculations

  • ALix

    says:

    Do they really need all these plus 100 16s and 60 15s?

  • Glen

    says:

    Even though Saab weren’t in the running for this contract but I do think they bulid a cheaper and more cost effective aircraft than the F35 . I also find it interesting that Korea is keeping its F15s and F16s.

  • Rick

    says:

    Not based on financial calculations? Probably based on a whole boat-load of calculations, of which acquisition price being one factor. With the F-35 the Koreans get a 1st-day-of-the-conflict strike fighter that can kick the door down for their F-16 and very capable F-15K strike aircraft, and it holds its own in air-to-air, and C4ISR duties better than most aircraft dedicated exclusively to those tasks. Don’t forget, any large scale conflict will involve the U.S.A.F., so the Koreans were keen to have a system that is very well integrated the U.S.A.F… Much has been written about how the F-35 is a “baby seal”, and is hugely challenged 1:1 against the best 4.5 gen fighters… Today, optimizing for 1:1 dogfights is to optimize for the war before the last three.

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