UPDATE 2-Boeing says still engaged with S.Korea on F-15 sale

Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:25pm EDT
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* Remark follows Seoul reopening fighter bidding

* Says F-15 line has life and opportunity ahead

* Company contained effects of partial U.S. shutdown

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Boeing Co is still very much engaged with South Korea over the possible sale of F-15 fighter jets, despite Seoul's move last month to restart a multibillion-dollar tender process, a senior Boeing executive told Reuters on Thursday.

The company also said the partial U.S. government shutdown would have had more significant ramifications if it had lasted longer, but saw no long-term effect from the 16-day hiatus in operations that ended overnight.

"We were able to contain it pretty well over the last two weeks," said Dennis Muilenburg, who heads Boeing's defense unit.

The F-15 had been poised to win the South Korean tender, but Seoul pulled the plug after former military top brass and ruling party lawmakers criticized the plane for lacking stealth capabilities.

"What they decided to do was to delay and take another look, so we're still very much engaged there with the F-15. That competition has been delayed and restructured but it's not over," Muilenburg said.   Continued...