In February 2022, Seoul received the 40th and last of the F-35As that had been ordered from Lockheed-Martin as part of the FX program aimed at modernizing its air forces in order to have a global force capable of neutralizing the nuclear threat of its northern neighbor, and which is based, among other things, also on the development of ballistic and cruise missiles capable of carrying out preventive strikes against adverse nuclear installations. Obviously, Seoul seems satisfied with the capabilities offered by the American aircraft, since the Ministry of Defense has received authorization from the regulatory authorities to order a new batch of 20 F-35As to reinforce the capabilities offered. by the 40 aircraft already in service.
This announcement is interesting in more ways than one. Firstly, it involves, as announced by the Netherlands, Norway, Japan or Australia, an extension of the fleet initially ordered, of which at least part is already in service. In other words, despite its shortcomings and certain defects, the F-35A continues to convince its users, to the point that they proceed to increase the fleet. Moreover, like Norway, the South Korean authorities were once moved by the additional budgetary costs linked to the implementation of their F-35, but also to their evolution. Here again, it seems that the efforts made by Lockheed-Martin but also by Prattt & Withney, the manufacturer of the F-135 turbojet engine which posed major availability problems for the aircraft, are beginning to bear fruit, otherwise there is little probable that the authorities of these countries have committed themselves to an increase in format.
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