The Government of South Korea looks set to pick Boeing and its F-15 Super Eagle (above) over Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon. South Korea is set to spend US$7.2 billion to buy 15 two-seater jets and 45 single-seat jets.
Canada, by comparison, has budgeted CDN $8.99 billion to buy 65 new F-35s fighters even as it undertakes an evaluation of its fighter jet options. Both the F-35 and the F-15 would be likely leading contenders to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s. The F-35 is a stealth fighter while the F-15E has some stealth technology.
Now, using today’s exchange rate to compare South Korea’s purchase with Canada’s budget for F-35s, South Korea is spending CDN$120 million per plane while Canada has budgeted $138.3 million per plane.
Among the factors that saw the F-35 eliminated from the South Korea competition was cost. The F-15 was cheaper:
The competition to win the South Korean project narrowed to a two-way race last week after the two aerospace firms offered their fighter jets for prices below the South Koreas state budget set at 8.3 trillion won. Another player, Lockheed Martin, submitted a price for its F-35 stealth, exceeding the state budget.
Also, in terms of local industrial benefits, Boeing has promised to assemble the jets in South Korea. Canada will also insist on some industrial benefits coming its way from the manufacturer it eventually picks to supply it with new fighter jets but I don’t think any of those manufacturers are ready to let Canadians assemble their jets.