US seeks order for 60 Stealth F - 35 fighter jets from this country
ISLAMABAD - South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced that Seoul will purchase 20 additional F-35 fighter jets from the US as part of the second phase of its F-X III procurement program, making for a planned fleet of 60 aircraft.
DAPA revealed the Republic of Korea Air Force will obtain 20 additional F-35s in the coming years.
“The government is preparing to launch the second phase of the F-X III in 2021 for the five years to come,” the acquisition administration told the National Assembly in a statement on Monday. The government previously purchased 40 F-35As from US-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin as part of a $6.4 billion contract in 2014 and received its first shipment back in March.
According to Defense News link, $3.3 billion from the F-X III fighter jet program is expected to go toward purchasing more of the fifth-generation stealth fighters.
While it’s unclear which variant of the F-35 aircraft Seoul intends to purchase, an anonymous source from the country’s Ministry of National Defense informed the outlet earlier this week that the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses concluded a study which revealed “the introduction of more F-35As” would be a “more feasible” acquisition for the air force.