Korea Aerospace Industries has rolled out the first production T/A-50, the light-attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainer.

The South Korean air force has ordered 22 T/A-50s for lead-in fighter and ground-attack training, says an industry source. These will be delivered by the end of 2012.

 TA-50 roll-out - Korea Aerospace Industries
©  Korea Aerospace Industries

Virtually identical to the T-50, the T/A-50 (above) is equipped with a three-barrelled 20mm cannon with 200 rounds. It can also carry air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons and has an ITT EL-2032 mechanically scanned radar.

 TA-50 weapons - Korea Aerospace Industries

A-50 Maverick - Korea Aerospace Industries

Both images © Korea Aerospace Industries

The T/A-50 has achieved weapons certification for the Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick (above) air-to-ground and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, although it is not certificated to use the latest AIM-9X variant.

In 2013, following the end of T/A-50 production, KAI hopes to transition to building its developmental F/A-50, which could begin testing in 2012. Seoul has committed to buying 60 F/A-50s and could eventually order up to 150 to replace its air force's Northrop F-5Es.

Source: Flight International