Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) Ltd., South Korea’s sole military aircraft manufacturer, signed a $240 million contract with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense to provide additional six KAI T-50i trainer jets. KAI previously supplied the Indonesian air force with 16 T-50i jets in May 2011. It also provided upgrades for the jets with radars and machine guns in November 2018. The contract also includes operational supports on the T-50i jets from Dec. 16, 2021 to Oct. 30, 2024, KAI disclosed Tuesday. The contract period will be confirmed once the company receives advanced payment.
In August 2010, Indonesia had been considering the T-50 advanced jet trainer to replace its BAE Systems Hawk Mk 53 trainer. In May 2011, Indonesia signed a contract to order 16 T-50 aircraft for US$400 million. The aircraft is to feature weapons pylons and gun modules, enabling light attack capabilities. The Golden Eagles are to replace the Hawk Mk 53 in Indonesian Air Force service. Indonesia’s version has been designated T-50i. Deliveries began in September 2013. The last pair of T-50i aircraft were delivered in January 2014. KAI also provided upgrades to the jets with radars and machine guns for the jets in November 2018.
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 Golden Eagle design is largely derived from the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and they have some similarities. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. It is designed for providing pilot training as well as engaging in light combat missions. 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 TA-50 variant is a more heavily armed version of the T-50, intended for lead-in fighter training and light attack roles. The FA-50 is the most advanced version of the T-50, possessing more internal fuel capacity, enhanced avionics, a longer radome and a tactical datalink. The T-50B serves with the South Korean air force’s aerobatics team. The TA-50 light attack variant has been ordered by Indonesia. The Philippines ordered 12 units of the FA-50 light fighter variant. Thailand ordered 12 units of the T-50 advanced trainer variant. Iraq ordered 24 units of the T-50IQ light fighter variant. The T-50A was marketed as a candidate for the United States Air Force’s next-generation T-X trainer program but failed to win.