EADS offers huge defense investment to South Korea | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.05.2013
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EADS offers huge defense investment to South Korea

European aerospace giant EADS has offered South Korea a huge defense-sector investment. The European competitor said procuring the deal would create tens of thousands of jobs.

EADS confirmed Friday it had offered South Korea a $2 billion (1.55-billion-euro) investment in a bid to edge out US rivals for a contract to provide 60 advanced fighter planes.

EADS spokesman Francisco Salido said South Korea could rely on comprehensive support for its own next-generation KF-X combat fighter program.

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EADS streamlines ownership structure

It said three competitors were in the running for the procurement deal, including Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II. EADS would provide Eurofighter Typhoon jets, should it be chosen for the contract.

Sensing a window of opportunity

"If the assembly of the Eurofighter and the KF-X program are conducted at the same time in South Korea, it will bring economic effects worth dozens of trillions...and create 50,000 jobs on the ground," EADS commented in a statement.

So far, South Korea's military procurement needs have overwhelmingly been met by US suppliers not least because of a historically close defense alliance.

But EADS is now hoping to get a foot in the door and open up a new market. "South Korea is a strategically important market for us in all business sectors, including civil aviation, defense and satellite technology," Salido maintained. A decision on the contract is expected by the end of next month.

hg/kms (AFP, dpa)

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