CORRECTED-South Korea extends bidding on $7.3 bln fighter jet project-media

Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:42am EDT

(Corrects first par, bidding has not been extended before)

SEOUL, June 29 (Reuters) - South Korea has extended bidding on a $7.3 billion (8.3 trillion won) fighter jet project after a second round of bidding ended on Friday with three aviation makers offering prices above the estimated cost, South Korea's news agency said.

South Korea opened the bidding on June 18 to import the country's 60 next-generation fighter jets between 2017 and 2021 and has since carried out about 30 bidding sessions, yet the offers were over the budget, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said citing the state's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) officials.

Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35A, Boeing Co's F-15SE and EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon are in the running to win the fighter competition.

"The bidding ended, and an additional bidding will resume on July 2," said Baek Yoon-hyeong, spokesman for the defence acquisition agency, according to Yonhap.

The project, called F-X, is South Korea's largest arms import ever. (Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Michael Perry)

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