Govt. to finalize fighter jet selection process Tuesday
Will Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle rule the skies over the Korean peninsula for decades to come?
The model now stands as the sole candidate for the nation's 7.3 billion U.S. dollar fighter jet project, elbowing out two other competitors with its competitive price tag, but controversy still rages over the model's supposed unsatisfactory performance and capabilities.
Although the jet has garnered wide acclaim for its vast improvement in internal weapons carriage and attack capability over the years, its limited stealth features have been highlighted as its biggest weakness.
And as the upgraded model, which is based on the 40-year-old original, is still in the development stage, some senior Air Force officials are strongly against selecting the F-15 as Korea's next generation fighter jet.
Despite rumblings of discontent within the military, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration is forging ahead with the selection process.
Officials will hold a final meeting presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin this Tuesday afternoon, and discuss whether to name the F-15 as the official winner.
"We will hold a meeting to finalize the model selection process. We're unlikely to hold additional meetings after this final meeting."
Defense Acquisition officials say the deal can no longer be delayed, as it could leave a huge hole in Korea's air defense capability.
But the finalization process still looks fraught with complications as the F-15 is seen by many experts as an ineffective deterrence to North Korea and other potential foes due to its weak stealth capacity.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
Reporter : email@example.com