SEOUL, June 25 (UPI) — South Korea announced it has selected Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in a $1.7 billion project.
In a meeting presided by the South Korean Defense Minister Monday, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration decided to purchase the Boeing’s maritime patrol aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales program run by the U.S. Department of Defense, Yonhap reported.
In the FMS program, the U.S. Defense Department serves as an agent between a purchaser and a defense company to offer a guarantee for a product and to handle issues related to procurement, logistics and infrastructure.
“We decided to purchase the latest maritime patrol aircraft via the FMS program of the U.S. government after reviewing cost, timeline and capabilities, as well as any legal aspects,” the DAPA said in a press release.
Before the direct deal was made, Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon competed with Saab’s Swordfish maritime patrol aircraft and Airbus’ C295MPA, raising the possibility that the South Korean government would open a bidding for the biggest defense acquisition project since the Moon Jae-in administration took office last year, according to Yonhap.
The DAPA, however, decided not to conduct an open bidding, but to make a direct deal with the U.S. government for concerns that the three-way bidding would raise the starting price, Newsis reported.
Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare and is capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, according to Boeing.