South Korea Starts Bidding in $7.3 Billion Jet Contract

Mike O'Brien

South Korea has started the bidding process to pick a contractor to offer 60 advanced fighter jets in a contract worth $7.3 billion.

The Defense Acquisition Program and Administration (DAPA) said the country is looking at choosing either Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II stealth jet, Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle or the European Aerospace Defense and Space Company (EADS)’s Eurofighter Tranche 3 Typhoon.

The aim is to replace the Air Force’s old fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets, reports.

The bidding process will last 11 days, after which DAPA will make a final assessment of the jets and come to a decision early next month.

The country remained on high alert on Tuesday, the 63rdanniversary of the Korean War, after several government and media websites were shut down amid reports of cyber attacks.

Several sites in North Korea were also shut down, but the Pyongyang regime has so far yet to comment.

South Korean national intelligence service officials in Seoul said they were investigating attacks on the websites of the presidential Blue House and the prime minister's office as well as some media servers.

There were no initial reports that banks had been hit or that sensitive military or other key infrastructure had been compromised.

Officials believe the attacks in the South are not as serious as the one in March in which tens of thousands of computers and servers at broadcasters and banks.

(Photo: Lockheed Martin)