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Boeing Wins South Korean Surveillance Plane Project

One of Boeing's winning 737 aircrafts.
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Aug 3, 2006
US aircraft giant Boeing was named Thursday to supply surveillance planes as South Korea upgrades its ability to monitor the movement of North Korean forces, officials said Thursday. Boeing beat out IAI ELTA of Israel to sell four E-737 planes worth two trillion won (2.09 billion dollars) to South Korea by 2012, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.

"ELTA failed to meet some conditions attached by us," DAPA official Lee Yong-Chul said after a meeting chaired by Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-Ung.

The procurement agency plans to sign a contract in September after price negotiations with Boeing.

The project is aimed at upgrading South Korea's early warning capability, with the first two surveillance planes to be deployed in 2009 and the other two in 2011.

South Korea, which is still technically at war with North Korea, has no air surveillance system of its own and depends on US airborne reconnaissance aircraft based at Okinawa in Japan.

South Korea has generally favored defense equipment from the United States, which has kept troops here since the 1950-53 Korean War to deter aggression by North Korea.

However, last year Seoul picked Eurocopter as lead partner in a multi-billion dollar project to develop multi-purpose military helicopters. In February, an Israeli firm won an 80 million dollar deal to upgrade optical surveillance systems on South Korean fighter aircraft.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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