KAI and Lockheed need to rethink their T-50 strategy

t-50 new.jpgThe bad news continues for the Korea Aerospace Industries T-50, which appears to have lost out in the Singapore advanced jet trainer competition.

The aircraft, which was jointly developed with Lockheed Martin, was a serious contender. But it ultimately failed against the Aermacchi M346, which has also been successful in the United Arab Emirates.

Clearly KAI and Lockheed, which is helping to market the aircraft globally, need to rethink their strategy. From what we understand, they have not successfully convinced governments about the T-50′s advantages and there remains a lingering worry about both the purchasing and life-cycle costs.

Aermacchi has also been savvier in the way it has been marketing the aircraft to Singapore and globally – the KAI/Lockheed team has just been too cautious, at times.

It is still not too late for them – the biggest prize, the US Air Force AJT requirement, is still there to be won. Singapore’s decision, however, clearly shows that they need to go back to the drawing board.

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