South Korean Government Signs Contract for More T-50 Golden Eagle Trainers
SACHEON, South Korea, 13-DEC-06 -- The Government of South Korea has signed a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for approximately 50 additional T-50 and TA-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainers bringing, the total number of T-50s ordered by South Korea to more than 70.
The T-50 was co-developed by KAI and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] to train pilots who will fly advanced and 5TH Generation fighters, such as the F-35. It can also be used as a light attack aircraft when equipped with various arms, such as air-to-air missiles.
“This marks an important milestone for the T-50 production program – our first repeat buy,” said Dr. Alex Jun, vice president of aircraft marketing for KAI. “With the aircraft exceeding the expectations of operational pilots in terms of technological advances and capabilities, we hope that it will be the first of many repeat buys.”
“We congratulate KAI for completing this sale and look forward to supporting the T-50 program in our continuing role of providing technical assistance and jointly marketing this high performance trainer,” said J. R. Wildridge, director of T-50 Marketing at Lockheed Martin.
The new aircraft will be used for advanced jet training and lead-in fighter training. All the aircraft will be delivered from KAI’s production facility in Sacheon, South Korea.
The T-50 Golden Eagle is the world’s only high performance supersonic trainer in production today. It incorporates a high performance supersonic jet trainer, a modern ground based training system, and a fully integrated logistics support package, designed to provide the most efficient training environment at a low life cycle cost.
In December 2003, the companies signed their first contract with the South Korean Ministry of National Defense for the mass production of T-50s. Two years later, the first T-50 was delivered. Currently, eight aircraft are operational and providing advanced training for future fighter pilots.
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) is the Republic of Korea’s national aerospace company, established in 1999 with the consolidation of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Co. KAI major products are the KF-16, KT-1 basic trainer, T-50, SB 427 helicopters, UAVs, aerostructures and KOMPSAT satellite program.