Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft
Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft (Pen Lanud Adisutjipto/TNI AU)

Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft

The Indonesian Air Force received one new Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KT-1B (export version for Indonesia) Wong Bee basic trainer aircraft. The KAI KT-1 Woongbi is a Korean single-engined turboprop, basic training aircraft. Compared to the KT-1, main differences are in terms of avionics, some of which have been excluded or have had commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) alternatives used instead. The aircraft, with registration number LL-0119, arrived at Adisutjipto Air Base on 8 December after completing assembly at PT Dirgantara Indonesia’s (PTDI’s) facility in Bandung. The two additional KT-1B aircraft will be delivered next year.

The first export customers for the KT-1 was Indonesian Air Force. During early 2001, Indonesia exchanged 8 CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft for 12 KT-1 trainers. On 25 April 2003, the first KT-1 was delivered to Indonesia, a move which represented the first Korean aircraft export; KAI stated that it was presently in negotiations for a 13-trainer follow-on order. During early 2011, reported emerged that Indonesia was interested in further acquisitions, but South Korean officials denied that any further barter deals had been agreed. During November 2018, three additional KT-1B aircraft were ordered for the Indonesian Air Force (IAF).

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 Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft
Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft (Pen Lanud Adisutjipto/TNI AU)

The origins of the KT-1 can be found within the KTX programme, which had been launched during 1988 on behalf of the Republic of Korea Air Force (RKAF). The programme, which sought to develop an indigenously designed trainer aircraft, was a joint effort between aircraft manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) and government body Agency for Defence Development (ADD). In terms of visual appearance, the KT-1 is reminiscent of the Pilatus PC-9, a widely used trainer aircraft at the time of its development.During 1995, the aircraft was officially named ‘Woongbi’. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is the primary customer for the type.

The KT-1 can be equipped with either an analog or ‘glass’ cockpit configuration. Some variants feature additional avionics and systems, such as a night vision goggles (NVG)-compatible cockpit, head-up display (HUD), multi-function displays (MFD), GPS/inertial navigation system, mission computer, onboard oxygen generation system, a vapour-cycle environmental control system and hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)-compatible controls. Avionics are provided by various foreign companies, including Elbit, Flight Vision and Thales. For light attack missions, the aircraft can carry various types of guns, bombs, rockets and missiles dependent upon customer requirements.

Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft
Indonesian Air Force Receives New KT-1B Wong Bee Basic Trainer Aircraft (Pen Lanud Adisutjipto/TNI AU)
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