Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa) has brought South Korea's Hyundai into its proposed AT-2000 advanced trainer and light-attack aircraft project.

The German aerospace company has been pushing the aircraft as an alternative to the Samsung/ Lockheed Martin KTX-2 trainer for the South Korean air force requirement for 100 trainer aircraft. Dasa says that Hyundai's participation now gives it a "potent national Korean partner" .

Late in 1996, the South Korean Government ordered an independent review of the KTX-2 project. A final decision on whether to proceed, or opt for an alternative programme to meet advanced-jet- trainer requirements, is expected shortly. CASA of Spain and British Aerospace, offering a development of the Hawk trainer the South Koreans already have in service, have also previously made bids for the requirement.

According to the German company, Hyundai is to make elements of the centre and rear fuselage, and the empennage - although it will not produce any composite structural components of the AT-2000.

Dasa already has a partnership in the programme with South Africa's Denel Aviation, which is to supply various systems.

The aircraft is also being offered a South African Air Force requirement for up to50 trainers.

The AT2000 is to be powered by a single Eurojet EJ200. Dasa predicts that the development cost will be some $1.3 billion, and is aiming for a unit price of $15 million.

The German manufacturer forecasts a market for about 800 aircraft up to 2020.

Source: Flight International