Tuesday, December 10, 2013

F-35 in S. Korea. EADS refuses to quit!

Slowman (a reader from the Pacific region) reports the following...
EADS won't give up. EADS just held a press conference in Seoul making an offer for 40 Typhoons. If Seoul buys 40 Typhoons, they guarantee IOC by 2017, and honor the offset agreement for 60 units. In addition, EADS offers to join in Korea's 120 passenger jet program as an equity partner which Bombardier recently bailed out(<= This proposal is angering KFX backers because they were actually cheering when Bombardier bailed out on the 120 passenger jet program, because it was seen as a resource competitor to the KFX)
I'm anxiously awaiting confirmation.

If this is true, then EADS is upping the war over who gets to provide fighter jets to the S. Koreans.

One thing everyone forgets.  Numbers matter.  If the price of the F-35 can't be pushed down then NO ONE will be able to afford enough of them to matter.  For the S. Koreans this is no longer an exercise in future war planning.  The young dictators uncle in N. Korea was ousted in a military purge that caught everyone, including China by surprise.  The Chinese responded by holding an exercise near the N. Korean border.  No announcements but I would bet that the 2nd ID went to a higher readiness level.

The S. Koreans can't afford to wait for promised capabilities.  War could literally break out anytime in the next 5 years and jets waiting to be delivered will do no one any good.  They need deliveries of replacements NOW, not in the distant future. 


  1. Some foreign countries are currently purchasing small quantities of pre-production F-35s embodying a design that is only halfway through development testing, has major problems with software, reliability and design, and they're paying circa $150 million each for these planes which are only good for initial testing of a concept -- how dumb is that, when they can get a Typhoon instead?

    1. Or Grippen, Super Hornet...

      I don't write about Rafale, French don't agree to move any service or parts manufacturers outside France and that's is no-go for most of the buyers. But don't worry about them, they are happy to sell the best weapon tech to China and Russia.

    2. You say just because we sell military ship, WITHOUT ANY WEAPON SYSTEM, to russia. ( And their ships will be better armed than ours ). I don't know about any military equipement sell to china. I heard in 80's they wanted to buy FAMAS but it was refused !
      We, sadly, give them civilian tech by airbus in exemple.
      India is more a kind of ally than Pakistan, but US never stop to fund and sell to Pakistan.
      So we sell them Rafale.

      And, did we see a black F35 flying over China ou a black Rafale ?

    3. France sell not only a ship, it's sell whole tech know-how... and after that Russia cancel construction of another of Mistrals. Don't forget that France or rather Renault provide whole engine and suspension for future Federation main IFV the ATOM. But let's not stop with that, Urałwagonzawod with cooperation wit Renault Truck Defense design whole hull of that vehicle.

      And China ? You forget who sell them AĆ©rospatiale Super Frelon and Dauphin with full tech transfer ? I know that business is business but France relay need to supply with modern weapon tech the most important rivals of UE ?

    4. you mean the Typhoo n that costs $120 million and STILL has ZERO AESA and no stealth...
      That one?

  2. I wonder if Boeing is going to get in on this. When it comes to passenger jets they are the reigning king and the F-35SE already won the last competition. I think Sukhoi gave up since they don't really have the influence to win this one and Lockheed may have a foothold right now but their position is significantly weakened since the ruling party ordered that renegotiation of the F-35 deal when they realized that the current terms were unfair compared to that of Japan's. Still, if South Korea is going to buy any fighter that is not the F-35, the Silent Eagle should be the obvious choice.

    Meanwhile, Lockheed just increased the amount of benefits to Canadian businesses in order to bribe Canada for an F-35 purchase as it were:

    This was probably done in reaction to the recent video about the two kids buying jets with their dad's $10. It's still sweeping the web like wild fire.

    1. Supposedly they're still crunching numbers in Ottawa but basically they're stalling and covering up, because there are no reliable numbers to crunch for one thing, some say until the next election in 2015. Perhaps Canada will start some kind of competition next year to indicate that the government is doing something.

      It's not only the acquisition cost of the JSF, in the $150 million range, it's the high JSF life cycle cost of estimated $44 billion which blows Canada away. It would cause them to cut some infantry, according to one report.

  3. EADS is playing a wild card: skip the F-35! Use the Typhoon „now“ and let us build together the KFX. The development of a small passenger jet is a win-win situation for both partners. A small jet with an A320 cockpit would be far more attractive for many airlines than Bombardier’s CS-Series. This deal would be far better for the South Korean aerospace industry than F-35 delivered in a black box. EADS could also add some cheap German Euro-Hawks (RQ-4E) …

    ROKAF already ordered 200 TAURUS missiles that are already being adopted for German Typhoons. For price of one F-35 ROKAF could get about 150 TAURUS missiles. Even an F-5 Tiger could deliver that missile. Fired from Seoul no aircraft at all is needed to reach Pyongyang.

    1. mhalblaubWednesday

      > The development of a small passenger jet is a win-win situation for both partners.

      It is supposed to be a prop, sorry. The reason for this is this platform's intended military use as a cargo lifter, maritime patrol, tanking, etc. .

      > A small jet with an A320 cockpit

      The cockpit is supposed to be local. One thing the Koreans can do better right now is electronics. They did this with Surion helicopter, which had a Cougar shell but an all new local avionics.

      > would be far more attractive for many airlines than Bombardier’s CS-Series.

      The justification behind this prop airliner was the booming regional air travel between Asia's major cities.

      > Fired from Seoul no aircraft at all is needed to reach Pyongyang.

      The Taurus doesn't come with "Mission completed" verification. That was the answer given why the ROKAF insisted on a close range JDAM bombing; the targets they would aim are of extremely high value(North Korean nuclear weapons depot, ICBM launch site, Kim Jong Un himself, etc) and an attack must be verified for success/failure for an immpediate execution of second and third attack if the first one fails.

  4. The other thing is Typhoon production slots are available as Europe feels the pinch. The South Koreas don't mind making pragmatic aircraft choices. They operate Lynx. And their coastguard operates some Kamov!

    1. Germany has several rarely used Tyhoons. Such kind of deal was already performed with Leopard 2 tanks for Canada. Canada used the tanks during Canadian tanks were build. So some kind of IOC could be reached at the end of 2014.

    2. don't ignore the N. Korea situation. the Korean AF has always been the step child and the mission is to get at those buried artillery cannons hidden in the sides of hills (i should say hidden in tunnels)....the N. Koreans have everyone jumpy right now and everyone is trying to figure this thing out. are they about to collapse? if that happens then all bets are off. but that's probably down the road. how far down the road is anyones guess.

    3. Solomon

      EADS is trying to sell the Typhoon based on "You need new jets immediately and not in 2021 to scramble to your newly declared ADIZ in East China Sea", not "You need Typhoons to bomb Kim Jong Un's palace"

      The whole East China Sea ADIZ does change the competition's dynamics, because of previously mentioned fighter jet shortage that are able to fly near Ningbo, China, in order to enforce the ADIZ.

  5. English language articles are now available.


  6. The natural combination for SKorea should be the L/O Advanced Super Hornets/Growlers with some F-35,

    Boeing could provide those airplanes pretty fast instead of proposing the old F-15.






    1. Superrhinoceront

      There is no point in getting new build Super Hornets when Korea already operates F-15Es. The cheaper option is to get more F-15Es because of savings on training and sustainment infrastructure cost.

      As for the Growler, the ROKAF was planning to order 20 if either the Silent Eagle or the Typhoon won. But now it may face a challenge from a local EW system mounted onboard a modified cargo plane or a business jet; it is an aerial version of the SONATA maritime EW system which is standard on all new build Korean surface combat ships.

  7. That's exactly the point. If they were planning to introduce the Growler, they would have to train new crews and technician any way. In that case the Modern LO Advanced Super Hornet was the best option rather than the old F-15.

    I wonder how the sonata will do against fighters in the region.


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