As you all know, I’ve had my eye on this competition and selection for some time now. Richard Dudley over at Defense Update has a wonderful write-up of where things currently stand. There are, of course, more major issues and problems plaguing the entire process, and it looks likely that the Republic of Korea will be stuck using simulator testing to evaluate at least one (if not two) of the three entrants. The time frame for selection has also been severely changed to compensate for these companies’ lack of actual products, and their disregard for the ROK’s requirements:
Beginning in late July, following the technical evaluation, an elite team of 45 Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) experts will conduct flight tests designed to evaluate 500 performance features of the three competitors. These tests will further evaluate each aircraft’s performance and will measure how well they fit into the existing South Korean military framework and add measurable value to the nation’s warfighting capability.
DAPA announced in June that some evaluations would be performed on simulators since the F-35 Lightning II is still in development. EADS and Boeing are also working on enhancements to the Typhoon and the F-15SE as well.
In earlier statements, DAPA said that final selection of the next-generation fighter would be announced sometime in October. Now, DAPA admits that October is only an optimistic initial target date and the final selection may not be announced until early 2013. DAPA’s director of program management told reporters on 5 July that “the final decision may be put off until into the next administration,” indicating a date sometime in 2013. (Read Richard Dudley’s extremely insightful full report here)
This entire selection has truly become my favorite Korean Peninsula Roller Coaster…
Craig was born & raised in the United States, having recently returned there after over five years in Asia. He is currently pursuing further education in the realms of East Asian Studies and Politics. Craig is an avid fan of the political, economic, and military machinations occurring throughout the Asian continent and how those turning gears affect the rest of the world. He's currently covering both North and South Korea for Asia Security Watch, enjoying shedding light on to this far-too-often ignored slice of Asia.
Craig Scanlan has 82 post(s) on Asia Security Watch