Boeing Co.'s F-15K beat out Dassault's Rafale in a heavily disputed and delayed competition to build 40 fighters worth $4.5 billion for South Korea's air force, the country's ministry of defense said Friday.
Korea also selected F-110 engines made by General Electric Co.
Boeing was considered the front-runner in the heated competition to build a fleet of new jets for South Korea's air force by 2009.
The competition was marred for months by delays and legal wrangling. At one point, Korea down-selected to Boeing and Dassault and said the fighters had scored a virtual tie so far in the competition.
Korea said the final outcome would be determined by factors that included political interests, prompting many analysts to name Boeing because of South Korea's close military ties with the U.S.
Dassault attempted legal action to stop the decision, calling the process unfair. Hundreds of South Koreans also took to the streets in protest last month.
The Eurofighter Typhoon and Russia's Sukhoi Su-35 were eliminated in last month's down-select.
Boeing's victory allows the company to keep open it production line for the F-15 in St. Louis - its last manned fighter program after losing a bid last year to build the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Defense Dept. and the UK Ministry of Defense.
Aviation Week & Space Technology, April, 19, 2002