Boeing: No Word on South Korea Fighter Deal

Boeing: No Word on South Korea Fighter Deal

Boeing Co., the world’s largest aerospace company, is downplaying reports that it won a $7 billion deal to supply South Korea with 60 fighter jets.

“Boeing has not received an official notification from the Republic of Korea regarding a decision in the F-X competition,” Amy Horton, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company, said in an e-mail. “We await word on the next steps in the selection process and will continue to work closely with the Republic of Korea in meeting their defense requirements.”

Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle is rumored to be the only candidate for the more than $7 billion contest after the Eurofighter’s Typhoon was eliminated due to “flaws found in the bidding documents,” according to a report yesterday from the Yonhap News Agency, citing unnamed sources within the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Eurofighter GmbH is owned in part by Leiden, Netherlands-based European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., known as EADS.

Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, had also been vying for the competition with the F-35, the U.S. Defense Department’s most expensive weapons program, but the Bethesda, Md.-based company’s bid was rejected because of its higher cost, according to the article.

Boeing reportedly submitted an offer below the program price ceiling, according to a report today from Reuters.

“Boeing has offered an extremely capable, low-risk and price-competitive Silent Eagle F-X solution that can be delivered on a schedule that meets Korean requirements, and we have proposed a comprehensive offset program that addresses all F-X priority areas and builds on Boeing’s well-established relationship with Korean industry,” Horton said in the e-mail.

The plane includes such improvements as stealth coatings and treatments for lower radar visibility, as well as redesigned fuel tanks for internal weapons carriage, according to the company.

South Korea’s air force already flies American-made aircraft, including F-15K Slam Eagles made by Boeing and F-16 Fighting Falcons made by Lockheed.

A committee headed by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin is scheduled to meet next month to formally pick the winner of the fighter jet contest.


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The fact that South Korea can afford soupped up F-15s and can’t afford F-35s should be a wake-up call to a lot of counties who thought F-35 was going to be priced like an F-16. That includes the USA.

It should be a wake up call that the F-35 A,C is not living up to what we expected. If South Korea is buying the F-15SE, then it’s a sure sign that F-35 is going to price alot of people out and are going to be looking for alternatives to the F-35

Got to love these ” Editor’s Notes” from the South Korean Media, and I quote“
EDITOR’S NOTE 2: By eliminating the unproven and unaffordable F-35, and choosing a more capable competitor of known performance and price, South Korea has demonstrated a very mature approach to defense procurement. It applied some very elementary rules: If you exceed budget, you’re out; if you don’t comply with our requirements, you’re also out. And, by holding fast through 55 bidding sessions, Korea finally obtained a price that was within its budget – something that seemed absolutely unachievable two weeks earlier. If Western defense procurement agencies applied similar rules, their armed forces would not be in such a parlous operational and financial state.
EDITOR’S NOTE 3: By selecting the F-15SE, a variant of the F-15E Eagle made stealthier by the retrofitting of weapons bays, South Korea has also shown the sensible way forward for the US and those of its allies that plan to buy the F-35. The F-15SE will offer broadly comparable stealth to the F-35, but also offers two engines, two pilots, longer range, and a broad range of weapons – at a far lower price.
South Korea, which faces a hostile North Korea and an assertive China just over its borders, obviously thinks the capabilities of the F-15 are worth more than the marketing promises about the F-35.“

The F-35B isn’t performing up to expectations either. It costs nearly just as much as the C-version and has roughly the same amount of problems. The Marines are rushing it into service.

Last I read Boeing dumped the canted tails for their Korea F-X submission, so why bother with the conformal weapons bays which can only carry a limited payload and take up space normally used for fuel? Even with the canted tails they’re not going to achieve a level of stealth comparable to the F-35 or F-22. Better to have the fuel.

It should be a wake up call to Lockheed Martin and other defense contractors as well. They don’t seem to realize how lean the next decade is going to be.

There are going to be thousands of laid-off engineers, etc. because the budgets will not exist in many of the countries that are considering buying the F-35, including the US.

it’s not like they need a long range to get to there destination so fuel is not an issue

I don’t believe the F-35 was eliminated. It’s too big to fail. This is some kind of negotiating ploy.

Amicus Curiae ,

Well, the F-35 is now eliminated. it’s already a failed project of all time.

The S. Koreans would still like to get their hands on the F-35 for technology purposes, but they’re practical enough to realize they shouldn’t plan on using it for their Air Force, at least not anytime soon.

I wish the USAF would be buying F-15SE instead of JSF. It has stealth capabilities heavier bomb and missile load and is way faster. Its a better Falcon replacement than the JSF and is not a pork covered waste program. Hope we can learn for South Korea.

There is light. The F-15SE is the way forward for Australia, Canada, Holland and Japan. And under sequestration the USAF should follow.

Well, between the Korean and Saudi F-15 orders, at least it will keep the production line open so we have a plan B…

1. F-15 is not anywhere near as steathy as the F-35.

2. Good luck with dealing with the T-50,J-20, japanese F-35s, and S-300s,

3· I wish some of you would research rather than parrot info from a few old geezers on a few choice sites. You dont seem to get netcentric VLO warfare

Those Editors notes are NOT from the South Korean Media. They are from the editor of defense​-aerospace​.com, which is published in France. See below:

“About Us
defense​-aerospace​.com is published by :
Briganti et Associés
19 Bld du Parc
92200 Neuilly Sur Seine (France)
Tel : 01 47 47 49 34 — Fax : 01 47 47 60 04
e-mail :

Editor and Publisher: Giovanni de Briganti
(Directeur responsable de la publication : Giovanni de Briganti) . ”

To win decisively against the T-50 and J-20 you need new F-22s or FXX, not a sluggish F-35 at 200 mill/plane. The F-15 SE withAESA and IRST and better AMRAAMs will be good enough to resist the J-20 and T-50.
With JASSM-ER hopefully the F-15 will not have to fly into S300 territory. With Cassidian’s passive radar technology, stealth will be out anyway.

A second rate plane for a cheap price. Good luck with that

If the F-15 is second rate, why is the United States keeping them past 2035? Why are countries still buying/interested in them? The F-35 can’t carry half of what a F-15 can, and that’s what South Korea needs.. more bomb trucks! Also the F-15 production line equals sustained jobs. Why would you want to sacrifice thousands of American jobs for a product that needs this sale much more than Lockheed.

Part of this shoul also be realized that South Korea just cannot risk waiting 10 years (or more) for an aircraft that may still not even work properly then, and certainly will be far more expensive to maintain in nthe long run (F-35).

With the Silent Eagle, there is considerable maturity in many of the aircraft’s systems (avionics, engines, flight control systems and software, weapons integration, etc), and spares/commonality will surely ease supply burdens/costs.
Plus, it’s already well-established which weapons the F-15 platforms can carry and deploy without concern of damaging fragile airframe components at launch.

The F-15 won’t cut it against the PAK-FA. It’s a great design but it still originated in the 1970s. You can only do so much to reduce the radar cross section, it doesn’t have the high AoA and low speed maneuverability of newer designs, it will never supercruise like the F-22 can, etc. Stealth isn’t going to go away because somebody who doesn’t know better is shouting “stealth is dead”. You’re dealing with the laws of physics, an aircraft with a larger radar cross section will be detected and tracked before one with a smaller radar cross section.

Same reason the navy has to keep its f-18s. Needs something to escort the F-35s.

The F-35 will be the first fighter that needs its own fighter escort from 2 generations behind to survive.

In Korea the F-35 is known as the aircraft that gives the North Koreans a fighting chance.

Who cares about high AoA and low speed maneuverability, except for airshows? They’re not going to be landing these F-15s on aircraft carriers. South Koreans certainly don’t care about supercruise. They’ll only fly north, and its not far at all to the border. Acceleration, speed, and service ceiling are paramount considerations if you want a high probability your fighter pilots will return from missions. F-15 has all these characteristics, but F-35 has none, and its nice-to-have LO characteristics don’t nearly compensate for it.

Here are some cool HD F-35 photos you can have a look at : http://​savas​-ucaklari1​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​0​/​0​7​/​f​-35–

The F-35 is vastly more capable than anything flying or projected to fly in the coming decades. Except for the F-22 in the Air Superiority Role. Even then the F-35 has several advantages. As least until the Raptor is upgraded. Honestly, I’ve never heard such a group of Arm Chair Generals that have no idea what they’re talking about. So, go do a little research and forget about what you hear in chat rooms and forums filled with teenagers. As its embarrassing.….Especially, from Americans.

The Super Hornet is a 4.5 generation fighter, so your math skills seem to be lacking as well. The Navy never intended for the F-35 to replace the Super Hornet, that is what F/A-XX is supposed to do. They also have intended for the start to use the F-35 as a strike aircraft while leaving the fleet defense/air superiority job to the Super Hornet. The USAF meanwhile has no replacement plans for the F-15E which was built to replace the F-111 as a long range interdiction aircraft. They don’t have the money for it as their priorities are F-35s to replace large numbers of tactical fighters and the next generation strategic bomber which seems to have gone by at least a half dozen different acronyms.

Sure it is, and I presume you don’t have any backing for this claim? You never do.

High AoA capability is very useful in order to take a quick shot for a short range IR guided missile. Low speed maneuverability isn’t all *that* important as a trained pilot should always be playing to his aircraft strengths and should avoid such scenarios.

Do explain how acceleration (significantly hindered when you’re carrying several thousand pounds of bombs and fuel) and maximum speed (also hindered by payload) are so important yet VLO stealth is just “nice to have”. The minimal radar cross section in conjunction with proper ECM/EW support is far more likely to protect you from a SAM hit than just hitting the afterburners and trying to get away from the thing.

That is at least 120 engines with those planes. The USAF can’t even support their own engine spares requirements at present, what makes the Koreans think we will be able to support their FMS engine spares requirements in the future? Unless they bypass the USAF and go directly to GEAE, they will be waiting for enigne spares for months, if not years.

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