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Boeing offers 747-8 for South Korea's presidential jet: source
SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) -- Boeing Co. has proposed an executive version of its 747-8 commercial airliner for South Korea's new presidential jet, a military source here said Tuesday, as the U.S. defense contractor is on track to win the presidential plane contract after rival EADS dropped out of bidding.

   Boeing submitted a sole bid for the contract worth up to 400 billion won (US$338 million) by Monday's deadline, according to officials at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea's weapons procurement agency in charge of securing a new presidential jet.

   "Boeing is offering the 747-8 model and the DAPA will evaluate the plane's performance by October," the military source close to the project said on the condition of anonymity.

   South Korea plans to buy a presidential jet by 2014 to replace its presidential plane put into service in 1985. Currently, President Lee Myung-bak is using a Boeing 747-400 jet for overseas trips under a five-year lease contract with Korean Air.

   The DAPA will review the bid by Boeing and complete price negotiations by October. EADS didn't place a bid because it understood that South Korean presidential officials prefer the Boeing model, the source said.
If all things go smoothly, Boeing will sign a formal contract to build the presidential jet in December, the source added.

   The 747-8, the largest 747 version that is scheduled to enter service next year, can carry up to 467 passengers and has a range of more than 15,000 kilometers, according to DAPA officials.
kdh@yna.co.kr
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