News / Asia

South Korea to Reassess Fighter Jet Deal

South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok attends a briefing at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, Sept. 24, 2013.
South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok attends a briefing at the Defense Ministry in Seoul, Sept. 24, 2013.
VOA News
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.

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Comment Sorting
by: Another Guest from: Australia
October 05, 2013 9:45 PM
South Korea Dumps the F-15SE For Stealth; F-35 Pacific Sweep Likely. Just goes to show you they are bunch of incompetents and de-skilled idiots.

by: Another Guest from: Australia
October 05, 2013 9:05 PM
It is very fortunate that there are so many representations and sortions of facts presented in the opinions offered by Winslow Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, Air Power Australia, retired fighter pilots and officers etc.

The simple facts are as follows:

–– The F-35 will never be the most lethal and survivable multirole fighter in history;

–– The F-35 is not meeting or not exceeding every single one of the Key Performance Parameters that the services have mandated;

–– The F-35’s capabilities are not being validated in their laboratories, and on ground- and flight-test programme today;

–– The F-35’s procurement costs are not up to date and not meeting programme cost objectives, and certainly are not on track to meet the customers’ unit flyaway cost targets; and

–– The F-35 programme is 8 years behind schedule to deliver the first production-model aircraft from 2010.

by: Another Guest from: Australia
September 29, 2013 10:00 AM
To find out more about this counter stealth radar, here’s a description if anyone is interested.

Development initiated late 1990s leveraging experience in Nebo SVU VHF-Band AESA radar;

2012-2013 IOC intended;

Designed from the outset to detect LO/VLO stealth fighters and provide early warning and track data to missile batteries and fighters;

The VHF component will provide a significant detection and tracking capability against fighter and UCAV sized stealth targets;

High off-road capability permits placement well away from built up areas, enabling concealment;

Rapid deploy and stow times permit evasion of air attacks by frequent movement, defeats cruise missiles like JASSM;

Initial Nebo M builds for Russian Air Defence Forces, but expected like other “counter-stealth” radars to be marketed for global export to arbitrary clientele.

The VHF band element in that radar will detect the F-35 at a distance of tens of miles. That is without a doubt. What that means is that the aircraft is going to be in great difficulty if it tries to deal with what I call a modern or contemporary threat. The same is also true when you deal with these newer stealth fighters, because they are designed to compete with the F-22. They fly higher; they are faster and more agile—much, much more agile. They have more powerful radars and much, much better antenna packages for other sensors. The F-35 is not meeting its specifications and its specifications are inadequate to deal with the changed environment.

If the F-35 was to be able to meet its specifications, the aircraft will have the ability of going up against a 1980s Soviet air defence system of the type that we saw destroyed very effectively in Libya last year, the F-35 would be reasonably be effective in that environment, because these older Soviet radars would not see it. But if you are putting F-35 up against the newer generation of much, much more powerful Russian radars and some of the newer Chinese radars, the aircraft is quite detectable, especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

Also F-35 will also be detected by the L-Band AESA just like the Nebo-M radar. It is used for targetting which they’ll be able to track LO/VLO stealth planes such as the F-35 especially from behind, the upper side and from the lower sides as well.

Unfortunately the F-35′s single engine which gives the aircraft a little margin for error. A very thirsty thrust-producing of the F-35 will be extremely hot. The back end of the F-35 in full afterburner is something like 1600 degrees (Fahrenheit). In terms of temperature, aluminium combusts at 1100. You are talking about something really, really hot. If you have got a dirty big sensor on the front of your Su-35S or your PAK-FA or whatever, it lights up like Christmas lights and there is nothing you can do about it. And the plume, because of the symmetric exhaust, is all over the place. It is not shielded, it is not ducted in any useful way. The Sukhois will have the advantage to seek and destroy the F-35 when using the heat seeking BVR AA-12 (R-77) Adder AAMs.

by: Another Guest from: Australia
September 29, 2013 9:58 AM
The F-35 is designed primarily to support ground forces on the battlefield with some self defence capabilities and is not suitable for the developing regional environment and, can’t perform close air support mission. The aircraft is totally unsuited for air superiority, bomber and cruise missile defence due to limited range/endurance/agility, limited weapons load and limited supersonic speed. As its limitations are inherent to the design, they cannot be altered by incremental upgrades. The F-35 will be ineffective against the current generation of extremely powerful advanced Russian and Chinese systems; In any combat engagements between the F-35 and such threat systems, most or all F-35 aircraft will be rapidly lost to enemy fire.

“Why will the F-35 fail the requirement? It has the ability to penetrate heavily defended airspace and hold targets of interest at risk any time you want to. That’s what the F-35 can do because it’s stealthy”.

Well unfortunately there’s absolutely no point of selecting the F-35 because some hostile nations could well be purchasing the Nebo M Mobile “Counter Stealth” Radar, advanced S-400 and S-500 SAM systems which will make the F-35 obsolete.

by: Another Guest from: from Australia
September 27, 2013 5:29 AM
That is ludicrous. The F-35 Joke Still Flying is not the answer to meet the global threats from North Korea and it is certainly not a true 5th generation fighter.


The F-35 aircraft designs will not meet specification nor the operational requirements laid down in the JSF JORD (Joint Operational Requirements Document) by significant degrees, noting that these operational requirements and resulting specifications, themselves, were predicated on the capabilities of reference threats from an era past and subsequently subjected to the illogical and deeply flawed process known as CAIV (Cost As and Independent Variable).

The designs of all three JSF variants are presenting with critical single points of failure while even the most basic elements of aircraft design (e.g. weight, volume, aerodynamics, structures, thermal management, electrical power, etc.) will almost certainly end up in what Engineers call “Coffin Corner”.

In essence, the unethical Thana Marketing strategy is using to sell the JSF, along with the acquisition malpractice of concurrency in not only development, the production and testing but the actual designs of the JSF variants, themselves, have resulted in the JSF marketeers writing cheques that the aircraft designs and JSF Program cannot honour.

Kim Min-Seok quote: “Our air force thinks that we need combat capabilities in response to the latest trend of aerospace technology development centered around the fifth generation fighter jets and to provocations from North Korea,” Is a full of baloney by drinking too much Kool-Aid.

All the comments from the critics have made it very clear that will be a good idea in the estimation of the Air Force.

Now the South Koreans are going to acquire the failed F-35 the worse off they are by eroding the air power which will make the RoKAF totally ineffective in the next 30 to 40 years.

For more information of why the F-35 can’t cut it on the modern battlefield.

I can imagine that Lockheed tried to encourage the defence ministry spokesman to buy this boondoggle that is useless to South Korea’s requirements.

If you have the F-35s that just aren’t capable of dealing with the anti access & area denial threat environment, it just doesn’t do you any good of going ahead with the boondoggle and sink the money. Because the F-35 will be increasingly expensive aircraft that will fail the air defence program and this participation can’t keep the entire program affordable and certainly will not give the South Korea, the US and the allies a distinct advantage over Russia and China.

A really dumb, mindless and idiotic idea to reject the F-15SE and claiming “The F-15 is not good enough”.

The F-15′s proposal is cheaper than the F-35 and does offer certain advantages such as; more powerful APG-82 AESA radar, more capable IRST, longer endurance and greater selection of munitions clearance etc than the F-35.

Any allied nation participating the failed Joke Still Flying programme are likely to be their own worst enemy by degrading their own air force than Russia and China.

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