posted on Aug, 20 2013 @ 01:23 PM
In what could be big news for Boeing, it appears that South Korea is ready to order 60 F-15SE "Silent Eagles" for the F-X Phase 3 competition.
The Defense Acquisition Program Agency has announced that they excluded the EADS bid of Typhoons, after EADS made unapproved changes to their bid. In
an effort to keep costs down, they changed from 45 single seat aircraft to 54, and 16 two seaters, to six, without approval.
They also announced they excluded the F-35 due to not meeting costs specified. Lockheed Martin has disputed this saying they haven't received any
official notification of the results of price bidding. The agency recently rejected all bids as being too high, and ordered everyone to rebid lower
prices. Lockheed is at a disadvantage due to the sale being through the Foreign Military Sales office, which links the price paid by the other
country to that paid by Washington.
Boeing is at a huge advantage, because the F-15 is already in service with the Korean Air Force, and major assemblies are already built by Korea
Aerospace Industries, which will help keep manufacturing costs for the SE down lower than the other two could do.
If the sale goes through, it will extend F-15 production until 2021. Without it, production of the Eagle would end in 2019, long lead items earlier.
The last of 84 F-15SAs for Saudi Arabia are scheduled for delivery then.
South Korea appears poised to order 60 Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagles for its F-X Phase 3 competition, throwing a lifeline to the venerable
fighter’s production line and offering the manufacturer an opportunity to improve it for future contests.
Seoul’s Defense Acquisition Program Agency says it has excluded one contender — identified by local media as EADS, offering the Eurofighter
Typhoon — because the bidder, with the aim of reducing its price, changed previously agreed upon conditions of its offer without consent. The
contentious change was EADS’s alteration of its offer from 45 single-seaters to 54, and 15 two-seat Typhoons to six, says Yonhap news agency.
Yonhap says the third contender, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning, has also been excluded, because its bid did not meet the budget, 8.3 trillion won
($7.5 billion). Lockheed, however, is refuting this assertion, saying it “has not to date received an official notification from the Republic of
Korea regarding the results of the price bidding for the F-X Program. The F-X source selection process has multiple phases and we will continue to
work closely with the U.S. Government as they offer the F-35 to Korea.”
Boeing is not yet assured of a contract, however, and the air force is likely to keep pushing for the F-35, the type that it has always wanted for the
The F-15SE is a proposed upgrade of the F-15 with features to control radar reflections, but to get into production it needs the South Korean order.
Without F-X Phase 3, F-15 production may end in 2019 — and earlier for long-lead items—when the last of 84 new-build F-15SAs for Saudi Arabia are
due to be delivered. F-X Phase 3 would prolong production until 2021, 49 years after the type’s first flight.