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Unofficial Decision over F-15K Next Generation Fighter

Posted March. 28, 2002 10:04,   


The final model for the air-force’s next generation fighter (F-X) business, which is to attract 4,200 billion won-worth investment until 2008, has virtually decided on the U.S. Boeing’s F-15K.

Ministry of National Defense (MND) said that the result of the first evaluation of the 4 contenders, including F-15K, Rafale, Typhoon, and SU-35, showed the highest marks on F-15K and Rafale within 3 Per Cent margin of error.

MND is to hold the second evaluation against these two models, and make the final decision. However, as the second evaluation will mainly deal with Korea-U.S. cooperation capability and Korea-U.S. alliance, the U.S.’ F-15K holds absolute advantage.

Side effects are expected, because a number of private organizations are opposing MND’s decision saying that `particular model is favored`, and there is also possibility for final dropout contenders to make complaints.

“Controversy will continue because the evaluation system had problems. It’d be better to delay the deal for 3 years and choose better model,” insisted military expert Kim Jong-Dae.

After explaining the first evaluation result during a press interview on the day, MND authority Choi Dong-Jin said, “The selection process operated objectively, fairly, and transparently according to the method finalized at MND policy conference on December 28, last year.”

According to MND’s first evaluation result, F-15K ranked the highest in compatibility with present military systems (18.13%), and Rafale was the best in technology transfer and contract conditions (11.99%).

MND is to finalize the model-selection process by next month and conclude the official purchase deal with Boeing after president Kim Dae-Jung’s approval.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com