F-35 hearts Seoul

Lockheed Martin has doubled-down on its F-35 proposal to South Korea, my colleague in Singapore Siva Govindasamy reports.

To steal a contract that presumably favors Boeing’s V-tailed F-15 Silent Eagle, Lockheed sales veep Steve O’Bryan made the following promises at the Seoul Air Show last week:

  • Delivery slots in 2014
  • Second-tier supplier deals
  • Final assembly role in South Korea

Lockheed’s sales pitch also appeared to get the full support of the US government. In a pre-show interview with the english-language Korean Times, top US Air Force weapons salesman (ahem, I mean, deputy undersecretary) Bruce Lemkin suggested the F-35 would be an excellent choice for the KF-X contract. If Lemkin mentioned the Boeing F-15SE, the reporter didn’t note it.


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18 Responses to F-35 hearts Seoul

  1. Royce 29 October, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    It’s kind of amazing the way Boeing is treated as the bastard son by the U.S. government as soon as it gets near a potential customer for the F-35.

  2. alloycowboy 29 October, 2009 at 8:05 pm #

    Lockheed wants to kill F-15 production, so they will have a monoply. Personally I think it is crazy for anyone to buy the F-15 over the F-35 as the you loose a lot of future upgradeability. If Boeing was smart they would become the goto place for F-35 modifications and upgrades.

  3. airplanejim 30 October, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    “Personally I think it is crazy for anyone to buy the F-15 over the F-35 as the you loose a lot of future upgradeability.”

    I can think of numerous millions of dollars per airplane as one good crazy reason. 2) The F-15 size allows for more upgradeability than the F-35. And other than stealth what avionics system can be added to the F-35 that couldn’t be added to the F-15. 3) What does the KAF need stealth for? They have the U.S. for that mission, just like NATO. 4) Air to ground weapons delivery, F-15 has a bigger payload. Just a few crazy reasons why a country like Korea might not need the F-35. Of course USAF needs Korea to buy the F-35 to help bring down the never ending costs of the plane.

  4. Upandaway 1 November, 2009 at 1:34 am #

    Now how obvious is this? We’re deep into the negative spiral of rising costs and declining numbers on this one. That’s why Lockheed+DOD are so desperate to court the Koreans all of a sudden while kicking Boeing in the nuts. Only by getting fresh “talent” on the program can the rising costs be arrested.

    Lets hope for the sake of numerous political careers and certain countries industrial credibility that this barrel, er, bird takes flight pretty darn soon.

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