Saturday, July 14, 2012

Farnborough 2012: KAI confident T-50 family ready for Philippines, other international markets

Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) officials are confident of winning the Philippine Air Force's (PAF's) competition for a light-attack trainer but are playing down expectations of a quick decision.

A T-50 variant is competing with five other platforms to supply a jet-powered light-attack/trainer aircraft to Manila: AleniaAermacchi's M-346; BAE Systems' Hawk; Yakovlev's Yak-130; Aero Vodochody's L-159; and AMX International's AMX.

"We have been told that we are leading the competition but that no decision has been made yet," Sky Lee, T-50 senior marketing manager for Asia-Pacific and South American, told IHS Jane's at the Farnborough Airshow on 10 July.

The Republic of Korea Air Force's Black Eagles aerobatic team, which flies T-50Bs, made its European debut at a number of airshows in the UK, including Farnborough.

If Manila selects the T-50 it will become the second international customer for the platform after Indonesia, which in 2011 agreed to buy 16 T/A-50s: the light attack/lead-in fighter trainer variant of the aircraft. Reports from the Philippines have led to some confusion over which variant of the aircraft was on offer: as well as the standard unarmed T-50 trainer, KAI offers the T/A-50 and F/A-50, which both feature an Elta EL/M-2032 fire-control radar provided by South Korean manufacturer LigNex.

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James Hardy | Janes.Com | July 13, 2012 | Article Link

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