South Korea has delayed finalizing a $7.7 billion deal to buy 60 fighter jets widely expected to go to U.S.-based Boeing Co., saying it will re-start the bidding process.
Tuesday's announcement is expected to set back the process of awarding the defense contract by about a year. Among the three top contenders - Boeing, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, and European consortium EADS - Boeing was the only one to submit a bid that fell within the South Korean budget.
Members of the South Korean military had expressed fears that Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle failed to meet the military's operational requirements.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.