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 May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 

Headlines May 20, 2015

News: Top secret X-37B space plane blasts off on fourth mission - One of the most mysterious craft ever to go into orbit blasted off on a top secret mission this morning.   Business: R&D budget request rises for U.S. Special Operations - The leadership of U.S. Special Operations Command said the force and its acquisitions –...
 

 

News Briefs May 20, 2015

North Korea ‘many years’ from developing submarine missile A top U.S. military officer says North Korea is many years away from being able to launch ballistic missiles from a submarine. But vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James Winnefeld, said May 19 such missiles could eventually present a hard-to-detect danger to...
 
 

House panel approves $578.6 billion for defense spending

The House panel that decides defense spending approved a $578.6 billion blueprint May 19 that fully funds a 2.3 percent pay raise for military men and women, prevents the retirement of the A-10 aircraft that protects ground troops and funds the U.S. fight against terrorism. The spending bill, which mirrors the broad defense policy bill...
 
 

News Briefs May 18, 2015

Military leaders gather in Hawaii to talk amphibious skills Amphibious military capabilities are on the agenda as the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy host defense leaders from around the Pacific in Hawaii this week. The first-of-its kind meeting comes as territorial disputes over islands grow more heated in the region. U.S. treaty allies Japan and...
 




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>