South Korea invites bids for jet program
A F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is seen at United States’ Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. REUTERS photoSouth Korea has invited Boeing, Lockheed Martin and EADS to participate in its next generation fighter jet program, in which the country will invest 8.3 trillion won ($7.39 billion) until 2021, according to Reuters.
The next generation air-power project comes as the country braces for changing dynamics on the Korean Peninsula after the death of Kim Jong-il, the former leader of North Korea, with which the South is still technically at war.
Japan recently chose U.S. contractor Lockheed Martin to build a fleet of 42 F-35 planes, valued at more than $7 billion, and China plans to introduce its own stealth fighters.
The deadline for proposals will close on June 18, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said at a presentation to contractors.
Wee Jong-seong, director of the agency’s fighter project team, said the three firms’ aircraft met operational capability requirements.
Meanwhile, the Asian country posted a current account surplus for the 22nd straight month in December despite the global economic slowdown, the central bank said yesterday, according to Agence France-Presse.