Author Topic: KAI stays focused on FA-50 despite T-X setback  (Read 641 times)


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KAI stays focused on FA-50 despite T-X setback
« on: December 13, 2019, 12:13:24 AM »
KAI stays focused on FA-50 despite T-X setback
By Greg Waldron21 October 2019

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is forging ahead with sales efforts in the international advanced jet trainer/light attack market with the FA-50 after a stinging loss in the USA’s T-X competition.

Sang Choi is executive vice president and general manager of KAI’s business division. He is a veteran of the company’s overseas sales campaigns for the T-50 advanced jet trainer and its FA-50 light attack variant. He spoke with FlightGlobal at the recent Seoul ADEX show.

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“I can't say [losing T-X] has had no impact, but business is always ups and downs,” says Choi. “Losing T-X was just one programme out of many. My job is to encourage my people to keep going and we are focusing on FA-50. We’re talking with Indonesia, Philippines, Argentina, and Botswana.”

Indonesia and the Philippines would represent follow-on buys. Jakarta operates 15 T-50Is in the trainer role – it had 16, but one crashed in 2015. Choi says the number is not clear, but that the FA-50 could potentially replace Jakarta’s 15 Northrop F-5 E/F fighters, which Cirium fleets data show as retired.

The Philippines deal could potentially be for 12 FA-50s, adding to its existing 12 examples, but Manila wants some updates prior to making a decision. These include the integration of the Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, a laser guided bomb capability, and the ability to carry 300-gallon fuel tanks on the wings, double the capacity of existing tanks.

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