July 25, 2013 Source: Reuters
SEOUL --- South Korea said on Thursday it would hold a new round of bidding next month for its 8.3 trillion won purchase of 60 next generation fighter jets, [which was] suspended after bids exceeded the budget.
The Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the country's arms procurement agency, suspended the auction earlier this month after 55 rounds. None of the entries, Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35, Boeing Co's F-15 and EADS's Eurofighter Typhoon, submitted bids meeting the required price.
The DAPA said it would begin a new round of bidding for its biggest-ever defence import programme in the third week of August. Analysts said that was unlikely to close the price gap that has scuppered previous rounds.
"We have decided at the defence project committee meeting to resume bidding for the F-X project," DAPA spokesman Baek Youn-hyeong told a briefing.
Baek hinted at the possibility of increasing the budget, but offered no further details.
"If there is no entry with price within the project budget after the resumption of bidding, we will pursue the project again through reviews or increase in overall budget," he said. (end of excerpt)
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