UPDATE SEPTEMBER 25, 2013: South Korea re-opens fighter selection program
The planned purchase by South Korea of 60 Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15SE Silent Eagle fighter/strike aircraft has been questioned by practically all Republic of Korea Air Force generals currently no longer active within the armed forces.
The Air Force should give priority to more stealthier and more recently developed fighters like the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II or the Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000) they say in a letter published by South Korean media. The generals feel the decision to go for the F-15SE is based mostly on money. The Silent Eagle might be capable, but doesn’t give the country a clear advantage in a possible war with North Korea, the former Air Force leadership feels.
In the published letter Korean president Park Geun-hye is called upon to give all three candidates a proper evaluation, secure additional funds and then select the best aircraft of the tests. Between the lines one can read it is clear the former RoKAF leadership aims for the F-35/Joint Strike Fighter.