Feb 10, 2015
Bid for South Korea KF-X fighter project fails
KAI was found to be the sole applier after closing the bid Monday.
At least two bidders are needed for the auction to be valid, according to Korean law. A lack of bidders will lead to a second auction later this month.
Korean Air said last Thursday that it planned to submit a bid in collaboration with Europe's Airbus Defence and Space, but failed to do so.
KAI,has joined Lockheed Martin for the project.
The failure of Korean Air to make a bid by the deadline will likely cause a setback in the project because a time delay is inevitable.
DAPA initially planned to review proposals from the two teams and pick a preferred bidder by next month after closing the bid on Monday. The agency had planned to decide a winner by the first half of the year.
Under the law, when a first bid fails, DAPA moves on to a second one.
The project, codenamed KF-X, will develop indigenous F-16 class fighter jets, which are scheduled for service from 2025, to replace the aging F-4 and F-5 jets.
Korean Air and Airbus reached a verbal agreement early last week, and were scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding to take part in the project.
After its plan to participate in the program was made known to the public, experts and industry watchers predicted fierce competition between KAI and Korean Air.