UPDATE 1-S.Korea picks Airbus over Boeing for 4 refuelling tankers

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Airbus Beats Boeing in Contract for South Korean Refuel Tankers.

South Korea chose Airbus Group SE for a 1.5 trillion-won ($1.3 billion) contract to supply air-refueling tankers, in the government’s latest move to bolster air defenses against North Korea.SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) — The Europe-based Airbus Defense and Space won a US$1.3 billion South Korean deal to supply four aerial refueling tankers, beating its U.S. rival, Boeing, the military procurement agency said Tuesday. BA -2.63 % in a $1.33 billion race to supply South Korea with four aerial refuel tankers, dashing the American company’s hopes to secure the first foreign order for a program beleaguered by budget overruns and delays. The A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport built by the Airbus Defence & Space beat Boeing Co.’s KC-46 and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.’s Multi Mission Tanker Transport in terms of performance and price, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration said Tuesday in a statement.

The European-made tankers “will not conflict with South Korea’s joint operations with U.S. military, because they will provide support in the rear,” DAPA spokesman Kim Si Cheol said. The Airbus model is known for its dual role as an air-to-air refueler and aircraft, with Australia, Britain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Singapore having adopted the tanker. Converted from its A330 passenger jet, the Airbus tanker can carry more fuel and fly over a greater distance than the Pegasus, which Boeing touted as more cost-efficient than its rival. A euro that has weakened against the dollar since the bid was announced last year has contributed to South Korea choosing Airbus, Baek Youn Hyeong, a DAPA official handling aircraft programs, said in a briefing. Longer flying time also increases surveillance of North Korea’s front-line artillery that moves in and out of underground tunnels in range of the South Korean capital, it said.

Airbus had previously sold 46 MRTT aircraft to six countries, including Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore and France, according to its website.

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