Those naughty Europeans!
During the negotiations, EADS, the manufacturer of the Eurofighter, had agreed to several requests made by DAPA. DAPA had asked that 15 of the 60 total jets be two-seaters and that R&D work be done for weapons system integration so that the South Korean air force could use the fighter weapons it already has.
But the DAPA later discovered that EADS had subsequently made the arbitrary decision to decrease the number of two-seaters from 15 to 6 and had excluded the R&D cost from the final bidding price.
“It’s true that we had agreed upon 15 two-seaters, but that agreement was not even included in our proposal,” said a source from EADS on condition of anonymity. “When one compares the F-35A, which only comes as a single seater, and the F-15SE, which only comes as a two-seater, this was not equitable.”
In regard to R&D for weapons system integration, the source said, “This would involve equipping a European fighter for US weapons, which goes against custom. We never agreed to that.”
So, South Korea is stuck with the F-15SE, which is “…is competitive in terms of its price, [but] 50 years have passed since it was developed, making it unclear whether the committee will select it.”
Defense on the cheap is the Korean way, as long as the United States foots the real bill.