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South Korea to acquire four tanker aircraft

South Korea plans to acquire four tanker aircraft for induction into the air force by 2017.

Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration said bidding will commence in February 2015, with a contractor to be selected by October 2015, according a report carried by official news agency Yonhap.

Seoul estimates the value of the programme to be over won (W) 1 trillion ($900 million), the report adds.

The primary candidates for the requirement are likely to be the Boeing KC-46 and Airbus Military A330 Multi-role Tanker Transport.

Despite having one of the Asia-Pacific's most powerful air forces, South Korea lacks a comprehensive tanker capability.

The report adds that tanker aircraft would allow fighters to spend more time operating over a series of small islands in the Sea of Japan that are the source of a territorial dispute with Tokyo.

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