SEOUL, July 11 South Korea is set to decide next
week whether to proceed with an auction on supplying 60 next
generation fighter jets worth 8.3 trillion won ($7.31 billion)
after rounds of failed bidding, a defence official said on
The defence minister will chair a meeting next Wednesday to
review the failed bidding process so far. A range of options can
be considered, include restarting the process from scratch, an
official at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration
DAPA suspended bidding after none of the entries, Lockheed
Martin Corp's F-35, Boeing Co's F-15 and EADS's
Eurofighter Typhoon, submitted bids meeting the
"If the auction falls apart, we will consider all possible
options, possibly including splitting the purchase, and find the
best solution," the official said.
South Korea has been pushing to buy 60 fighters to replace
its ageing jets, such as F-5s and F-4s, starting from 2017, in
order to better face threats posed by North Korea's missile and
Given the close military ties with the United States,
experts said U.S. manufacturers are favoured over Eurofighter.
However, differences over price have delayed the final
selection, which DAPA previously said was planned in June.
Apart from capabilities of the individual aircraft, South
Korea is also focusing on the offset value of the bids and the
assistance that competitors will offer for its homegrown fighter
jet development programme.