May The Strongest Prevail

Boeing and Lockheed Martin submitted bids for their respective F-15 Silent Eagle and F-35 Lightning II fighters in the $7 billion third phase of South Korea’s F-X fighter contest, according to press reports. The two companies met the June 18 deadline for bid submissions, as did Eurofighter, which is offering its Typhoon fighter in the contest, reported FlightGlobal June 18. The three companies are competing for the rights to supply the South Korean air force with up to 60 new-build fighters. South Korea’s defense ministry plans to award the contract in October, according to FlightGlobal. In an unconventional move, the South Koreans intend to assess the key instruments and flight performance of the competing jets using simulators, reported the Korean Herald June 13. The four main criteria for determining the winning bid will be: cost, capability, interoperability with South Korean forces, and industrial benefits, according to the Herald. (See also Bloomberg report.)