Daewoo Heavy Industries (DHI) is to start development of the KOX forward air control (FAC) version of the KT-1 turboprop basic trainer in 1999, following successful completion of operational testing of the aircraft by the South Korean air force.

The South Korean manufacturer plans to modify its fifth and final KTX-1 prototype to the FAC configuration. Flight testing of the newly designated KOX prototype is scheduled to begin in 2001 and the first aircraft is expected to enter air force service around 2003-4, subject to final approval and production funding.

KOX modifications will include installing a gunsight, weapon management system and four underwing pylons for the carriage of auxiliary fuel tanks, gun pods and target marker rockets. The basic design of the tandem-seat KTX-1 already includes wiring provision, as well as fuel systems for the two inboard hardpoints.

The air force plans to order 20 FAC aircraft as a follow-on to production of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62-powered KT-1. DHI expects to be awarded an initial order for around 85 trainers by early next year and to deliver the first production aircraft in March 2000. The KT-1 is to be produced at a new DHI plant at Sachon at a rate of two aircraft a month. Air force acquisition plans call for the delivery of the first 20 aircraft by the end of 2000 and the final KOX version by 2005.

Source: Flight International