The International Test Pilots School (ITPS) Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to promote the FA-50 light attack jet for tactical and adversary training.
The company plans to promote the FA-50 to military clients of its International Tactical Training Center, a private school for training the fighter pilots of foreign militaries. ITPS Canada announced the agreement on 2 November. Adversary training is essential mock dogfighting with another combat aircraft.
The International Tactical Training Center provides combat pilot training to air forces, including fighter weapons instructor courses, advanced tactics courses and mission commander courses. For example, the company says it provides fighter lead-in training for the Royal Malaysian Air Force from facilities in London, Ontario.
The school operates a fleet of Aero Vodochody L-39C jet trainers that it plans to replace with the FA-50. The organisation has not disclosed the number of FA-50s it plans to acquire.
The sort of budget-constrained countries that outsource their pilot training to private schools, such as ITPS Canada, are also likely to be ideal customers for the FA-50. The light attack aircraft’s price tag is much less expensive than a typical fourth-generation fighter and its annual operating cost is also much lower.
South Korea’s air force operates a fleet of 60 examples of the FA-50. The Philippines also uses 12 of the aircraft.
Recently, a sale of eight FA-50s to Argentina was blocked by the UK, which has an arms embargo against the Latin American country. London said UK manufacturers make “six major components” for the FA-50, which are subject to export controls.
The FA-50 was derived from the T-50 Golden Eagle, an advanced jet trainer developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin.