Commissioner Noh Dae-lae, Eurofighter Typhoon, f-15, F-15 fighter, F-15 Silent Eagle, F-35, f-35 joint strike fighter, F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter, F-35B JSF, F15 stealth fighter, Lockheed Martin's F-35, South Korea, T-50 No Comments
Seoul wants a swap deal with the Pentagon under which Lockheed Martin would provide supersonic trainer jets to the United States in exchange for F15 stealth fighters, the head of the country’s arms procurement agency said Wednesday.
“We are considering requesting an offset deal using the T-50,” answered Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) Commissioner Noh Dae-lae, when asked about the feasibility of a swap deal with Lockheed Martin for its F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter.
“If we buy stealth fighters from the U.S., we will push for sales of the T-50,” Noh said.
Earlier in the day, Noh said Seoul will choose the winner of what will be the biggest arms-procurement deal ever in Korea, a plan to purchase 60 high-end fighter jets, in October 2012.
He said the government will review the roadmap for the long-stalled combat aircraft purchase plan in June this year, while denying media speculation suggesting that Seoul has already decided to purchase Lockheed Martin’s F-35s without even opening the bidding.
Washington is planning to replace as many as 500 of its aging trainer jets, making it one of the largest potential markets for the T-50 Golden Eagle.
The chief of the state-run agency also said that Korea will be able to deploy new fighter jets no sooner than 2016, given that it takes four or more years to accept delivery from a supplier after concluding the deal.
“It is not possible to deploy them from 2015,” he said.