S. Korea to finalize F-35 jet fighter deal this year
January 29, 2014, 12:08 am TWN
SEOUL--South Korea plans to finalize the purchase of 40 next-generation F-35 jet fighters from U.S. aerospace giant Lockheed Martin later this year, Seoul's military procurement agency said.
The South's air force has been looking to upgrade its ageing fleet of Boeing F-4 and F-5 fighters in the light of North Korea's growing nuclear threat.
The absence of a stealth capability was behind the military's decision in September to block a US$7.7 billion deal to buy 60 of Boeing's F-15 fighters.
The Boeing aircraft was the only one to come in under the US$7.7 billion budget approved by parliament.
The F-35A takes off and lands conventionally. The F-35B variant can land vertically, like the obsolete Harrier plane, and its users will include the U.S. Marines and Britain's armed forces.