|[Published: Wednesday October 21 2020]
South Korea acquires 24 F-35A stealth fighters from US in defence revamp, reports say
TOKYO, 21 Oct. - (ANA) - A batch of next-generation US-built fighter jets has arrived in South Korea as part of the country's push to revamp its aerial defence capabilities, media reported Tuesday.
The Korea Herald newspaper reported citing the Defence Ministry's arms procurement agency that 24 news F-35A stealth fighters have joined the Air Force.
"We experienced some delay in the delivery due to the COVID-19 situation, but through South Korea-US coordination, the delivery has been normalized as planned", the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration said in a parliamentary audit report, according to the paper.
Arrivals of the F-35As are expected to carry on through 2021 and make up a squadron of 40 planes altogether and facilities to store them are expected to be completed by the end of the year, the Herald reported.
The Lockheed Martin-built squadron, with a price tag north of $6 billion, is set to be the centrepiece of South Korea's defence strategy, at once boosting its strike force and reconnaissance capabilities across the board. - (ANA) -
AB/ANA/21 October 2020 - - -