KAI and CMC Electronics link to develop turboprop trainer version pitched at counter insurgency and armed training

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has recruited Canada's CMC Electronics as its partner in development of an enhanced avionics suite for a proposed export version of the KT-1 basic trainer. The variant is aimed at counter insurgency operations (COIN) and armed training.

KAI and CMC's Flight Visions subsidiary will build an avionics systems integration laboratory for the KT-1C ready for flight testing to start by late 2004. KAI has already delivered 55 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered KT-1 trainers to the South Korean air force.

Meanwhile, KAI has launched full-scale development of the XKO-1 forward air controller variant in partnership with South Korea's agency for defence development, also for the air force.

The XKO-1 is equipped with head-up (HUD) and multifunction displays (MFD), and a GPS satellite/inertial navigation system. It has four wing hardpoints for unguided rockets and external fuel tanks. Tank separation and weapons firing tests ended last month. Indonesia is launch customer for the basic KT-1B export version with a deal for seven aircraft, the first of which flew on 17 December last year. The Indonesian aircraft differ from South Korean KT-1s in that several avionics line replaceable units have been swapped for commercially available alternatives and others eliminated to cut costs. First delivery to Indonesia is due in May. KAI hopes for a follow-on contract for 13 more before year end.

While the XKO-1 is now the platform for future export sales in the COIN role, it has only basic avionics. This has prompted KAI to start developing the KT-1C with enhanced avionics for pilot training and an improved weapons system. It will feature onboard oxygen generation, single-point fuelling and a vapour-cycle environmental control system, says KAI.

The aircraft's glass cockpit will feature a HUD, up-front control panel and three MFDs. With five hard points the KT-1C can carry a centreline forward-looking infrared sensor and laser range finder, as well as machine gun pods, unguided rockets, bombs or fuel tanks.


Source: Flight International