Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has entered a pact with Uzbekistan aircraft maintenance firm SE Charz, setting the stage for the possible establishment of a maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) operation in the Central Asian country.

The memorandum of understanding was signed during a visit to Uzbekistan by South Korean president Yoon Seok-yeol, says KAI.

KAI Uzbek

Source: KAI

The MOU signing was part of a broader South Korean government visit to Uzbekistan

KAI notes that SE Charz primarily supports Russian helicopters such as Mil Mi-8,-17, and Mi-24, as well as fixed-wing types such as the Antonov An-2, Sukhoi Su-25, and Yakovlev Yak-52.

“Pursuant to the agreement, KAI and SE Charz will promote mutual exchange and research co-operation to improve aviation maintenance capabilities in Uzbekistan and co-operate in related fields such as discovering potential markets for aircraft demand,” says KAI.

“The two companies plan to form a working-level consultative group in the future to specify areas of co-operation and projects.”

Ultimately, KAI expects that the agreement will lead to the establishment of an MRO operation in Uzbekistan that could support aircraft produced by the Korean firm.

KAI notes that following Moscow’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Central Asian countries are looking beyond Russia for supplies of military aircraft.

Cirium fleets data suggests that the Uzbekistan air force operates mainly ageing Russian combat aircraft and helicopters.

KAI has actively promoted its KUH-1 Surion on international markets, and has enjoyed broad success for its FA-50 light attack jet. In addition, it hopes to secure international customers for its developmental KF-21 fighter.