S.Korea to pay around $6.8 bln for 40 F-35 fighter jets-source

SEOUL, March 24 Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:42am EDT

SEOUL, March 24 (Reuters) - South Korea has set a budget of around 7.34 trillion won ($6.79 billion) for 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said on Monday, in a purchase to be finalised in the third quarter.

Arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) reported the estimated budget of 7.34 trillion won to a committee overseeing military procurements earlier on the day, the source said.

The source declined to be identified as not authorized to speak to media.

South Korea decided to redraw the terms of a 8.3 trillion won tender to buy 60 fighters last year after rebuffing Boeing Co's F-15s, reducing the number in December to an initial 40 jets.

($1 = 1080.2500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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