Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and MBDA have entered a cooperation pact for the integration of weapons on KAI-produced aircraft.
The two companies will explore the integration of several MBDA weapons aboard aircraft such as the developmental KF-21 fighter and FA-50 light combat aircraft.
“The combination of MBDA’s world leading weapon products and technologies with KAI’s proven record of new aircraft development and rapid delivery is an exciting prospect for the world defence market, reflecting the shared values and interests of both parties,” says MBDA chief executive Eric Beranger.
The two companies already have work together, with MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile forming the primary anti-air armament of the developmental KF-21.
Aircraft in the KF-21 test fleet have flown with mock-ups of the Meteor, and the two companies are working to complete the weapons integration with the aircraft. In March, weapons release work with a dummy Meteor round was commenced.
MBDA weapons covered by the pact include the Spear precision glide weapon, ASRAAM infrared-homing air-to-air missile, and Brimstone ground-attack missile.
The FA-50 has proven to be a popular aircraft on the export market, with Poland in the process of obtaining 48 examples.
At the recent Seoul ADEX show, KAI said it is sees strong customer interest in a single-seat version of the FA-50 that will focus on ground attack.
The removal of the jet’s back seat would make space for a fuel tank, and the elimination of back-seat avionics and the ejection seat would help reduce costs and potentially increase weapons payload.