The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) has taken delivery of its final two Boeing F-15K fighter aircraft.

The delivery was made on 2 April at the Daegu air base and all of the F-15Ks were delivered on cost and on schedule, says Boeing.

Boeing will continue to provide long-term support to the air force's fleet of F-15Ks through the performance-based logistics (PBL) sustainment contract it received from South Korea's Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). Companies supporting the PBL contract include Hyundai Glovis, Korea Aerospace Industries and Samsung Thales.

"Boeing is proud to have worked with the ROKAF to ensure that their F-15Ks included all the capability and power necessary to defend their homeland through 2040 and beyond," says Boeing F-15 programme vice-president Roger Besancenez.

Korea F-15K Silent Eagle
© Boeing

South Korea chose Boeing's F-15K in June 2002 for a supply contract for 40 of the fighter jets. Boeing delivered its first two F-15Ks in October 2005. It won an additional contract to produce 21 additional F-15Ks in April 2008 as part of the country's Next Fighter II programme.

Boeing has proposed the F-15 Silent Eagle - which shares a great deal in common with the F-15K - for Seoul's F-X III requirement. Its rivals in the F-X III are the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Bids for the F-X III competition are due by 18 June, with a decision possible by late 2012. DAPA did not specify the number of aircraft it intends to obtain under F-X III, but industry sources have previously said the number is around 60. The aircraft will replace South Korea's McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms.

Industry observers feel the race is primarily between the F-35 and F-15SE. At the Seoul air show in October 2011, Lockheed and Boeing representatives stressed the respective merits of their aircraft.

Lockheed highlighted the ability of the stealthy F-35 to penetrate enemy airspace, while Boeing emphasised the F-15SE's heavy weapons payload and new low observable features that would be of great utility in the early days of a war.

Source: Flight International