Israel's Elisra is to supply electronic warfare equipment for the F/A-50 strike variant of the Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 advanced jet trainer, under an initial contract worth $7 million.
Elisra will develop and produce prototype equipment to be supplied to KAI over the course of the next two years. The South Korean company earlier this year received state funding worth more than $300 million to prepare four prototypes of the armed and radar-equipped F/A-50, with deliveries to the nation's air force expected by 2012. KAI believes Seoul could then order 60 production examples to begin replacing its oldest Northrop F-5 fighters, and expects export orders for dozens more aircraft.
Elisra sources indicate that the selected EW system will include radar warning receivers and chaff and flare dispensers. "We cannot release more details, but we talk about a very efficient system that will give the aircraft excellent protection," says one.
Elisra chief executive Yitzchak Gat says the company's system was selected following an extensive evaluation process involving several other suppliers. "We hope that the current award will be followed by additional orders," he says.
Elbit Systems holds a 70% stake in Elisra, with the remaining 30% owned by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary.