Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) offers the KT-1 as a primary trainer and has sold the type to the South Korean air force and to export customer Indonesia. However, the type is facing a halt in production and was recently eliminated from the United Arab Emirates' primary trainer contest. KAI has also developed an armed forward air control version of the KT-1, dubbed the KO-1, in a bid to prolong the model's production run, and has been delivering 20 examples to the South Korean air force from late 2005.

Developed with Lockheed Martin, KAI's T-50 Golden Eagle was conceived to transform jet pilot training for the South Korean air force, which currently uses three platform types to prepare its fighter pilots: the BAE Systems Hawk, and the Northrop F-5 and T-38.

South Korea has ordered an initial 25 T-50s so far, and has also approved a deal for another 50 aircraft. The nation's air force early this month launched its first, 34-week, advanced training course with the T-50 at Gwang-Ju airbase, where the service's first 12 aircraft have been delivered.


Several developments of the aircraft are planned, including a TA-50 lead-in fighter trainer, FA-50 light attack aircraft and related EA-50 and RA-50 electronic attack and reconnaissance aircraft.

The T-50 has been offered to several countries, including Greece, the United Arab Emirates - where it has been shortlisted against the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and the Hawk - and to the US Air Force.

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Source: Flight International