Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI) will deliver two more T-50TH advanced trainer jets to Thailand by November 2023. South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer last month had received a US$78 million deal to supply the trainer jets.
This additional order comes close on the heels of KAI getting an order for six more of the jet trainers from Indonesia at a contract value of US$240 million.
This would bring Indonesia’s fleet of T-50i advanced trainers to 20 aircraft, with 16 acquired in 2012 to replace its older BAE Systems Hawk 53 trainers dating from the 1980s that are currently operating in the advanced and lead-in fighter training role.
So far KAI has achieved US$400 million worth of deals to supply 16 T-50 trainer jets. KAI has exported 156 trainer jets worth US$3.1 billion – 72 T-50 advanced trainer jets worth US$2.6 billion and 84 KT-1 basic trainer jets worth US$700 million — to countries that include Indonesia, Iraq, Thailand, Turkey, Peru and the Philippines since its foundation in 1999.
“KAI will continue to export to new markets such as Southeast Asia, South America and Africa, and will soon surpass 100 export units,” a KAI official said. Thailand already has 12 T-50TH aircraft in service or on order with KAI. The type is progressively replacing the service’s Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross trainer.
Thailand signed a contract with KAI in 2019 to upgrade the fleet’s radars and electronic warfare system. Malaysia is also said to be considering the T-50 for its own Light Combat Aircraft programme.
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