It is said that Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) may have difficulty in winning the Advanced Pilot Training (APT) project from the US.
According to foreign media reports on December 21, US president-elect Trump met with Marilyn Hughson, CEO of Lockheed Martin and Dennis Muilenberg, CEO of Boeing at Mar-a-Lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
"We held a productive meeting to lower the cost of the fighter," Hughson said in a statement after meeting with Trump. "We will lower the cost of Air Force One, the exclusive airplane for the US president to less than US$ 4 billion," Muilenberg also told reporters.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing have plans to deliver a new Air Force One and next generation fighters to the US Air Force, respectively. However, Trump said that the prices of the airplanes produced by the two companies are too high on Twitter, a social network service (SNS), leading up to the meeting.
As president-elect Trump seemed to succeed in taming American defense companies, it is difficult to predict the future of the APT project scheduled for a bid in the future.
On the other hand, considering that Lockheed Martin contributed a large amount of money to Trump, a consortium led by KAI is likely to win the APT project. The APT project aims to replace the aged T-38C trainer operated by the US Air Force with new trainers and will cost up to 38 trillion won. KAI is having its eye on the APT project by forming a consortium with Lockheed Martin. Potential competitors include the Boeing-Saab Consortium and Northrop Grumman-BAE Consortium.
Meanwhile, according to KAI on July 22, President Ha Sung-yong expressed his strong resolve to land the APT project, saying, "Unless we win the APT project from the US, I will resign as president" at a board meeting held at its head office, Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province.