F-15 Silent Eagle: South Korea officials now like the stealth capability of Lockheed Martin's F-35A better than Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle.
REUTERS/Paul Weatherman/Lockheed Martin/US Air Force/Handout via Reuters/Files
South Korea's government bowed to public pressure on Tuesday and voted down a bid by Boeing to supply 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets, saying it would restart the multi-billion dollar tender process to get a more advanced fighter.
Lockheed Martin's F-35A, previously considered too expensive, has shot to the front of the line in the race for the contract after the defense ministry singled out a fifth-generation fighter as the preferred option.
Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle had been in the box seat to win the 8.3 trillion won ($7.7 billion) tender - as the only bid to fall within budget - but former military top brass and even the ruling party's lawmakers had criticized the plane as it lacked crucial stealth capabilities.