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EADS to propose joint production of Eurofighter with S.Korea: official
SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- European aerospace and defense group EADS is set this week to propose joint production of its Eurofighter Typhoon with South Korea, a proposal that would sweeten its bid to win Seoul's multi-billion dollar tender offer for combat fighter purchases, a company official said Sunday.

   EADS is set to make the offer at a military forum to be held on Tuesday at the War Memorial in Seoul, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

   If South Korea selects the Eurofighter, the proposal will allow South Korea to become the world's fifth nation with the capacity to produce the two-engine, multi-role combat aircraft, following Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain, the official said.

   The Eurofighter, Boeing's F-15 SE and Lockheed Martin's F-35A, are competing to win the huge deal, worth upward of 10 trillion won (US$8.6 billion), to sell 60 advanced combat fighters to South Korea, which will choose a supplier in October.

   Many analysts believe EADS has only a slim chance of winning the deal, given the strong military alliance between South Korea and the U.S.

   Recently, Lockheed's decision to conduct performance tests of its F-35 using simulators, not an actual test flight by a South Korean pilot, has stirred up controversy here.

   South Korea has purchased 60 of Boeing's F-15 fighter jets since 2002 under the first two stages of the fighter modernization program, code-named "F-X."