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South Korea to buy 40 F-35A fighter jets

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World Aviation Defense and Security News - South Korea
 
 
South Korea to buy 40 F-35A CTOL fighter jets
 
According to AP, South Korea will buy 40 F-35A fighter jets from Lockheed Martin for about $7 billion in the country's biggest-ever weapons purchase aimed at coping with North Korea's military threats, officials said Wednesday, September 24. South Korea agreed to the purchase of F-35A jets in March and has since been negotiating with Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin over a price, technology transfer and other matters.
     
According to AP, South Korea will buy 40 F-35A fighter jets from Lockheed Martin for about $7 billion in the country's biggest-ever weapons purchase aimed at coping with North Korea's military threats, officials said Wednesday, September 24. South Korea agreed to the purchase of F-35A jets in March and has since been negotiating with Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin over a price, technology transfer and other matters.
Lockheed Martin's F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing variant AF-1 and AF-2
     

South Korea has traditionally favored importing fighter jets and other weapons from the United States, which stations about 28,500 soldiers in the country as deterrence against possible aggression from North Korea.

The purchase is aimed at replacing the country's aging warplanes and bolstering capability to attack nuclear and other strategic targets in North Korea in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula, according to the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Agency and military officials said the new jets are to be delivered to South Korea between 2018 and 2025. A Joint Chiefs of Staff officer, speaking on condition of anonymity citing department rules, said the decision announced Wednesday is final.

The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive aircraft program, costing an estimated $400 billion. Other international buyers include Britain, Israel, Italy, Australia, Canada, Turkey and Japan.

Last year, South Korea rejected Boeing Co.'s bid to supply 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets at about $7.7 billion after critics said the warplane lacks state-of-the-art stealth capabilities and cannot effectively cope with North Korea's increasing nuclear threats.

The conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A is a multirole, supersonic, stealth fighter that has extraordinary acceleration and 9-g maneuverability and agility.