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S.Korea to sign jet deal in Q3, signals commitment to Lockheed F-35s

Published on Jan 27, 2014 4:56 PM
 
The F-35B Lighting II variant of the Joint Strike Fighter sits on the deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp while being tested by Marine Corps and Lockheed Martin pilots and engineers off the coast of North Carolina in this handout photo taken on Aug 19, 2013. South Korea plans to sign a deal to buy 40 fighter jets in the third quarter, its arms procurement agency said on Monday, and its plan to acquire Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s appears on track despite possible development delays. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea plans to sign a deal to buy 40 fighter jets in the third quarter, its arms procurement agency said on Monday, and its plan to acquire Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s appears on track despite possible development delays.

"With changes made in procurement plans from February to March, followed by committee approval, we will work to sign a contract around the third quarter," Mr Jung Kwang Sun, the head of aircraft programmes at the Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), told reporters.

South Korea decided to redraw the terms of its 8.3 trillion won (S$9.74 billion) tender to buy 60 fighters last year, reducing the number in December to an initial 40 jets after rebuffing Boeing Co's F-15s.

Although not yet finalised, South Korea has signalled its intention to buy F-35As since its Joint Chiefs endorsed a need in December for "cutting-edge stealth" jets for first delivery in 2018.

 
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