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Tender for S Korean stealth fighter jets early next year

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An unrelated photo of F-15K Slam Eagles from the Republic of Korea Air Force.

SEOUL (BNS): South Korea’s weapons procurement agency has decided to open bids early next year to buy an advanced fleet of fighter jets with stealth capability for the Air Force, a media report said.

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) plans to choose a supplier in October 2012 to allow the South's Air Force to begin deploying the fighter jets from 2016, DAPA said in its report sent to the National Assembly.

The upcoming tender is valued at 10 trillion won (US$9.1 billion) and it will take about four years for the Air Force to deploy the new combat fighters after signing a final contract in October next year, Yonhap quoting the report said.

The combat fighter will be selected depending on the "level of stealth capability, price and how many aircraft would be assembled domestically," it said.

Among the likely competitors for the tender are Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightening II Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing's newly designed F-15 Silent Eagle and the Eurofighter Typhoon made by the European consortium, it added.

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