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Lockheed, Boeing and Eurofighter place formal bids for Seoul’s F-X III requirement

Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and the Eurofighter consortium have presented formal bidding documents to South Korea for the 60 aircraft F-X III competition.

The receipt of the formal bids was announced by Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on its website. It expects to make a decision by October.

The presentation was largely a formality, as the three companies have already mounted extensive campaigns for the requirement. Lockheed Martin is pitching its F-35A, Boeing the F-15 Silent Eagle, and the Eurofighter Consortium the Typhoon.

Notably absent is Sukhoi. Seoul had invited the Russian manufacturer to pitch its developmental PAK FA (designated the T-50). In January, South Korean media reports said Sukhoi did not attend a meeting at DAPA where contenders received the request for proposal (RFP) for the competition.

The reports had also suggested that Swedish aircraft maker Saab had attended the RFP meeting, but it appears the company is not bidding its JAS39 Gripen.

According to Seoul's Yonhap news agency, the aircraft will be judged by four primary criteria and 150 secondary criteria. The four main criteria are cost, capability, inter-operability with South Korean forces and industrial benefits. Seoul is likely to require the F-X III winner to provide significant help with its indigenous KFX fighter programme.

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