South Korea goes with Boeing, dumps Lockheed-Martin’s F-35

- August 18th, 2013

F-15 Super Eagle

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.

via 2nd LD Boeings F-15SE reportedly chosen as final candidate for S. Koreas next fighter plane.

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.

Categories: Defence, Politics

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4 comments

  1. OMEGATALON says:

    South Korea might be making a tactical error especially as the US Air Force has decided against buying new F-15 Silent Eagle in favor of buying more F-35 Lightning II JSF fighter jets and in the last batch of F-35 LRIP 6, the cost for each F-35 fighter jet had an average price of $95 Million each which is less than the $120 Million-per-jet price South Korea was willing to spend. South Korea will hope their F-16 SE proves to be as good as a F-22 Raptor because China will be flying J-21 stealth fighter jets while Russia will be flying T-50 stealth fighters.

  2. y2knot says:

    For 9 billion, how about giving 6 million of the poorest Canadians a $1,500 Christmas present. Spent locally, won’t be used to kill (even poorer) brown people (as in Libya), and won’t end up crashing in northern Alberta like most of these high tech toys do …
    Just a thought,or do we still believe the Russians/Chinese/Cubans/Vietnamese/Nicaraguans/Grenadians/Iraqis/insert enemy-de-jour here
    are going to come screaming over the Arctic circle to attack us like all the times before (oh right it has never happened)

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