New F-35A Jets for South Korea on the Cards

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:46 AM, June 29, 2022
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New F-35A Jets for South Korea on the Cards
F-35 Lightning II fighters

South Korea’s Defense Project Promotion Committee's subcommittee has endorsed a basic proposal to purchase some 20 F-35A Lightning II combat jets.

The defense procurement subpanel gave its nod of approval for a 3.9 trillion won ($3 billion) project to introduce new F-35A radar-evading fighters on June 9, Yonhap news agency reported citing officials.

These aircraft will be manufactured by American defense firm Lockheed Martin from 2023 through the mid to late 2020s.

The approval came as the conservative Yoon Suk-yeol administration is striving to beef up defense capabilities to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats, the report said.

The South's military completed the deployment of 40 F-35As in January under its first fifth-generation warplane procurement project. It plans to add more to the current F-35A fleet under the envisioned second project.

The proposal is likely to be tabled at a full committee session slated for July 13, according to the officials. If passed, the state Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) plans to carry out a feasibility study and other follow-up procedures.

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