|CGI of the KFX Fighter Project (File Photo)|
By Kang Seung-woo
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is seen as one of strongest candidates to win the FX (Fighter Experimental) III project thanks to its stealth function. However, some critics are expressing concerns about the foreign military sales (FMS) program.
They say that should the U.S. aerospace and defense giant win the 8.3-trillion-won ($7.5 billion) bid, Korea will not be able to take advantage of the most-expensive procurement deal in history.
That’s because unlike direct commercial sales (DCS), the government-to-government FMS in which Washington would broker a contract between Seoul and Lockheed Martin is likely to restrict the U.S. company from transferring technology, which Korea plans to use in the project aimed at replacing its aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s.
However, Randy Howard, Lockheed Martin’s director of the Korea F-35 campaign, says Lockheed Martin is open to technology transfer and willing to make strong and solid commitments to help Korea with the project on the back of its track record.
“Lockheed is offering a robust industrial participation, offset, and technology transfer program. The offer includes the opportunity for the Korean industry to participate as a best value global supplier in the F-35 program, manufacturing the center wing and horizontal and vertical tails of the plane,” the American told The Korea Times.
Read the full story at Korea Times