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Aero India 2023

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The F-35 Lightning II. Photo: Lockheed Martin/by Randy Crites

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (BNS): The Republic of Korea has formally announced its decision to procure the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition programme.

South Korea's air force has been looking to upgrade its ageing fleet of Boeing F-4 and F-5 under the fighter project.

Following a comprehensive evaluation process for their F-X programme, the Republic of Korea becomes the third Foreign Military Sales country to procure the F-35, joining Israel and Japan who selected the F-35A in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Initially, Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and EADS' Eurofighter Typhoon were in contention for the deal.

The Washington Times quoting Lockheed spokesman Eric Schnaible said, the final price of the fighter jets will be determined following negotiations between South Korea and U S governments.

"We are honoured by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements.

We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and U S governments in support of a final agreement this year," said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice president.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U S Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U S Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U S Marine Corps, and a variety of fighter aircraft for at least 10 other countries.

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Brahmand World Defence Update 2023

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