In the news...

September 25, 2013

South Korea rejects Boeing, says F-15 not good enough

South Korea Sept. 24 rejected Boeing’s bid to supply 60 fighter jets in the country’s largest-ever weapons purchase even though it was the sole remaining bidder, and said it would reopen the tender.

Boeing had offered its F-15 Silent Eagle, but South Korean critics have said the warplane lacks state-of-the-art stealth capabilities and cannot effectively cope with North Korea’s increasing nuclear threats.

Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said officials decided at a meeting Sept. 24 to delay naming a winning bidder for the 8.3 trillion won ($7.7 billion) purchase, and would restart the bidding process at an early date.

He said South Korea must have better air power in line with an international trend to develop “fifth generation” fighters, and said the rejection of Boeing’s bid was made in consideration of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and other factors. Ministry officials said he was referring to a warplane with cutting-edge radar-evading stealth functions which Boeing’s plane does not have.

Boeing said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision, adding it “rigorously” followed the South Korean arms procurement agency’s instructions throughout the entire process.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon earlier competed in the bidding process but were eliminated for exceeding Seoul’s budget cap.

The F-35 jet, which has been plagued by schedule delays and cost overruns, is widely regarded as a much more advanced and capable aircraft than its predecessors.

Japan announced in 2011 that it would buy 42 F-35 jets in a deal expected to cost more than $5 billion. Japan hopes to receive its first F-35s in 2016, at a cost of about $120 million per plane. But last year it threatened to cancel the multibillion-dollar deal if prices continue to rise or delays threaten the delivery date.

South Korea has traditionally favored importing fighter jets and other weapons from the U.S., which stations 28,500 troops in the country as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

This spring, tensions on the Korean peninsula rose sharply, with Pyongyang threatening nuclear wars to protest toughened U.N. sanctions after its third nuclear test in February. The U.S. took the unusual step of sending its most powerful warplanes – B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and B-52 bombers – to drills with South Korea in a show of force. B-2 and B-52 bombers are capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

In recent days, South Korean media, retired generals and weapons experts had pressed the government not to pick the F-15 Silent Eagle, arguing better stealth capabilities were needed.

“Only with stealth capabilities can (warplanes) covertly infiltrate North Korea and get rid of its nuclear threats,” a group of 15 former air force chiefs of staff said in a recent letter addressed to President Park Geun-hye.

The rivals Koreas have hundreds of thousands of combat-ready troops along a heavily armed border as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. North Korea’s air force is relatively old and ill-prepared, but has a large number of aircraft that could be a factor if a conflict were to break out.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 

Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 

 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 
 

Headlines February 23, 2015

News: Republicans, Democrats want more DOD spending - Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided about how much the country should spend on the military, but a growing number of all Americans say the Pentagon budget is too small.   Business: New armed UAV export rules help U.S. firms - New U.S. rules loosening restrictions on exports of...
 
 

News Briefs February 23, 2015

New Pentagon chief visits airfield in southern Afghanistan U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is getting briefed on American military operations at Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan as part of what he calls a listening tour of the war zone. On his second day in Afghanistan, Carter flew to Kandahar from Kabul, the capital, where he...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>