What if they held a fighter competition and all the bidders refused to submit bids under the customer's budget? It's looking that way in South Korea's FX-III fighter program.
The bidding for 60 aircraft has opened 2 weeks ago, and South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration has conducted 30 bidding sessions, but the three contenders have consistently submitted proposals over the target budget of 8.3 trillion won (US$7.3 billion). The bidding process will resume July 2nd, and given the current market, we reckon the bidders will most likely cave in eventually. But given the disparity in the budgeted amount and listed price of US$10.8 billion in the DSCA notification for the sale of F-35s to South Korea, there may be interesting days ahead for the program.
F-X III is South Korea's largest defence acquisition program ever; the three contenders for the contract are the Boeing F-15SE Silent Eagle, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.