Peru signs deal for 20 KAI KT-1 basic trainers

Singapore
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Peru will obtain 20 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KT-1 basic trainer aircraft, as KAI secures its first aircraft deal in the western hemisphere.

The deal is valued at $200 million and was conducted as an inter-governmental "foreign military sale" (FMS) between Seoul and Lima, says KAI. The final contract was signed between the Korea trade-investment promotion corporation (KOTRA) and Peru's defence department in Peru on 6 November.

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Korea Aerospace Industries

"This deal is a representative example, which develops a new export market and provides a new business opportunity to Korea's companies," says Oh Young ho, chief executive of KOTRA.

"We will expand a FMS way to move towards the larger market and larger future and will contribute to increasing Korea's local defence articles exports," he adds.

The deal received heavy support from Seoul. The defence acquisition programme administration has guaranteed the contract. The deal was also discussed at several high level inter-governmental meetings between South Korean and Peruvian leaders. Seoul's embassy in Peru and the South Korean air force also lobbied for the deal.

Four of the aircraft will be delivered in a flyaway condition, while 16 will be assembled by Peruvian maintenance, repair and overhaul firm Seman. Deliveries will start in November 2014.

KAI sees a market for about 200 basic trainers in South America. It adds that the Peru deal could help the company sell the type to countries such as the Philippines and Colombia.

The Peru sale is the third overseas win for the KT-1, which has been acquired by Indonesia and Turkey. The South Korean air force also operates the type.

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Korea Aerospace Industries

Aside from serving as a basic trainer, the KT-1 can also carry weapons for light attack missions.