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.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 

 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Courtesy photograph

President announces Hagel’s resignation as defense secretary

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov. 24. The president announced that Hagel would resign his position as defense secretary. Praising Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’...
 
 

Headlines November 21, 2014

News: Dempsey lays groundwork for larger 2016 defense budget - The top U.S. military official on Wednesday made the case for growing the base defense budget significantly over the $535 billion spending cap imposed by Congress for fiscal 2015.   Business: Boeing can bill $61 million that Pentagon withheld for months - The Pentagon withheld $60.5 million...
 




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>