March 31, 2015 09:53
Korea Aerospace Industries has been chosen the preferred bidder for the KF-X fighter project aimed at filling a vacuum as a result of about 100 old fighter jets being decommissioned later this decade.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration made the decision in a meeting chaired by Defense Minister Han Min-koo on Monday.
The project aims to develop and procure homegrown advanced fighter jets and will cost more than W18 trillion (US$1=W1,107) until 2025, including W8.67 trillion for development and W9.6 trillion for production of 120 fighter jets.
KAI was chosen over Korean Air "based on an assessment of plans, capability, and estimated costs," DAPA said.
KAI reportedly received higher scores given its experience in developing the T-50 supersonic advanced trainer, the FA-50 light combat aircraft, and the Surion transport utility helicopter.
After further talks with KAI the DAPA will make a final decision in June.
Korea will jointly develop the fighter jet with radar and electronic equipment superior to the U.S.' F-16s jointly with Indonesia.
Korea is hoping for vital technology to be transferred by Lockheed Martin.
DAPA also approved a project to procure PAC-3 interceptor missiles, choosing Raytheon of the U.S. to upgrade its Patriot system.
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