As a result of the agreement being a Foreign Military Sale, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. Government will begin negotiations surrounding the ultimate cost of the request for the 40 jets with the first delivery expected to be in 2018. Reuters is reporting that two sources with knowledge of the agreement estimate the price to be $6.8 billion.
According to Lockheed Martin, its F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) variant jet is "an agile, versatile, high-performance 9g multirole fighter that provides unmatched capability and unprecedented situational awareness."
"We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between the Republic of Korea and U.S. governments in support of a final agreement this year," said the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Orlando Carvalho, in the announcement of the selection. "This decision strengthens and extends our long-standing security partnership while enhancing regional stability across the greater Asia Pacific theater."
The Republic of Korea will now join Israel and Japan as the two other countries that have selected the F-35 under a Foreign Military Sales designation. In addition, three U.S. military branches, the Air Force, Navy, and Marines Corps, have selected to use the F-35, as well as eight international partner countries.
Lockheed Martin expects final negotiations between the U.S. Government and the Republic of Korea to close in the third quarter of this year, resulting in a signed letter of acceptance for the supply of the F-35 planes.
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