U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing voiced disappointment on Tuesday after Korea decided at the 11th hour against buying the F-15SE fighter jet in a multi-billion-dollar deal.
But rivals Lockheed Martin and EADS, whose F-35 and Eurofighter jets competed with the F-15SE, welcomed the decision. All three manufacturers appeared interested in re-entering their bid as the selection process starts over.
Boeing in a statement said that it is "deeply disappointed" by Korea's decision. The Seattle-based firm added that it “has rigorously followed the Defense Acquisition Program Administration's instructions throughout the entire process. We await details from DAPA on its basis for the delay while evaluating our next options."
A Boeing spokesman expressed "dismay" about the decision and said the company will make additional comments after consulting with headquarters.
Boeing is worried by reports that the F-15SE was dropped because it performs poorly, especially in terms of stealth capabilities.
Meanwhile, a Lockheed Martin spokesman said the company is interested in taking part in a fresh bid and stressed that the U.S. government proposed the Korean government buy its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
An EADS spokesman said the Eurofighter is the ideal aircraft for Korea and added the technological assistance that would come with the purchase would benefit the country's space rocket development.
EADS said it is willing to adjust its terms to meet Korea's price requirements.