South Korea approved a plan Friday to acquire TA-50 Block-2 trainer jets starting this year until 2024 with a budget of around 1 trillion won in line with the increased demand from the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) to nurture pilots, according to Korea Herald. The TA-50 Block-2 jet is the upgraded version of the TA-50 aircraft, which are now in service. The TA-50 variant is a more heavily armed version of the T-50 trainer, intended for lead-in fighter training and light attack roles. In 2011, the first squadron with the TA-50, become operational with the ROKAF.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) TA-50 is equipped with the Elta EL/M-2032 fire control radar. The TA-50 is designed to operate as a full-fledged combat platform for precision-guided weapons, air-to-air missiles, and air-to-ground missiles. The TA-50 can mount additional utility pods for reconnaissance, targeting assistance, and electronic warfare. Reconnaissance and electronic warfare variants are also being developed, designated as RA-50 and EA-50.
The TA-50 version has a three-barrel cannon version of the M61 Vulcan mounted internally behind the cockpit, which fires linkless 20 mm ammunition. Wingtip rails can accommodate the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, and a variety of additional weapons can be mounted to underwing hardpoints. Compatible air-to-surface weapons include the AGM-65 Maverick missile, Hydra 70 and LOGIR rocket launchers, CBU-58 and Mk-20 cluster bombs, and Mk-82, −83, and −84 general-purpose bombs. The TA-50 version is equipped with an ELTA EL/M-2032 fire control radar.
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Development began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005. The T-50 has been further developed into aerobatic and combat variants, namely T-50B, TA-50, and FA-50.