Skip to comments.Seoul fears delivery delays of F-35 jets
Posted on 03/06/2012 9:19:28 PM PST by U-238
Chances are high for the government to pick the F-35 fighter jet as the mainstay of the Air Force later this year, but it is doubtful whether the new aircraft can be delivered to Korea as promised from 2016.
Seoul is expected to announce the winner of the bidding for its next-generation fighter acquisition project in October this year in line with its plan to introduce 10 advanced jets in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the remaining 40 by 2020.
Lockheed Martin officials recently informed us that the F-35 development and testing is progressing faster than anticipated and that they are confident of delivering fully operational fighter jets by 2016, a senior official of the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Tuesday.
But it is dubious whether their claims can be accepted as the F-35 program, which is still in the early stage of flight testing, continues to encounter development delays and cost overruns.
Lockheed Martin, which has proposed to sell F-35s, is competing with its U.S. rival Boeing and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) for the 8.29 trillion won ($7.3 billion) deal.
Another DAPA official pointed out that Korea will face great difficulties in imposing any significant penalty even if Lockheed Martin fails to deliver its latest stealth jets on time.
Both Lockheed Martin and Boeing intend to sell their aircraft to Korea through the Foreign Military Sales program (FMS), which is often considered an unfair trade practice. It will leave little room for Seoul to punish them over delivery delays, he said.
Given that the FMS program is a contract based on trust between the U.S. government and another nation, no one has ever succeeded in negotiating with the Pentagon on a strict penalty for delays.
(Excerpt) Read more at koreatimes.co.kr ...
South Korea Becomes Next Fighter Battleground
The gloves are coming off. International fighter competitions are rarely gentlemanly affairs, but with U.S. and European defense spending in decline, the pressure to succeed overseas has aircraft makers and equipment suppliers becoming more aggressive in the push to secure crucial foreign orders.
I agree. I think we offer better products than the Europeans. The Europeans do not have a plane like the F-35.