August 16, 2013 / 7:59 AM / 6 years ago

South Korea says at least one qualifying bid in $7.4 billion fighter deal

BF-3, a short take-off and vertical landing F-35 Lightning II, releases an inert 1,000 lb. REUTERS/Andy Wolfe/Lockheed Martin/Handout

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Friday that at least one bid came in under budget for its 8.3 trillion Korean won ($7.42 billion) purchase of 60 next generation fighter jets, the country’s biggest-ever defense import program.

A spokesman at the government’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said at a briefing on Friday that a comprehensive evaluation would start and that a winner was expected to be chosen in mid-September.

He declined to give the number or name of the companies that had submitted the required price.

DAPA resumed the bidding this week after suspending the process in July. Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 (LMT.N), Boeing Co’s F-15 (BA.N) and EADS’s Eurofighter Typhoon EAD.PA are in the race.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Joyce Lee; Editing by David Chance

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