Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has completed the delivery of 16 T-50i supersonic trainer jets to the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU). After signing the US$400 million deal in 2011, KAI sent the aircraft over between September 2013 and January 20140, flying via Taiwan and the Philippines to Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in Jakarta.
With sales of T-50s to Indonesia, South Korea has become the world’s sixth supersonic trainer jet exporter. Indonesia is the biggest Southeast Asian buyer for South Korea’s defense industry, buying Korean-made submarines and trainer jets. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is also participating in Seoul’s indigenous fighter development program, codenamed KFX, investing about 20 percent of the initial development cost.
The KFX project aims to build F-16 class fighter jets to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 fighter planes, while eyeing the overseas market with homegrown aircraft. The state arms development agency has been working on the concept and designs of the aircraft, waiting for the government’s approval to start a full-scale project.
Source: Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF)
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