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LIMA 2017: T-50 enjoys growing popularity

21st March 2017 - 13:24 by Wendell Minnick in Langkawi

LIMA 2017: T-50 enjoys growing popularity

As South Korea's Black Eagles aerobatic team of T-50Bs roared above the biennial LIMA 2017 exhibition, the aircraft manufacturer was explaining why the aircraft has become a popular choice for supersonic trainers and ground attack aircraft in the international market, with sales in Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines and Thailand to date.

The aircraft could be the next lead-in fighter trainer choice for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), said Sky Lee, senior manager of the Asia business development team, international marketing division of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

Though no requirement details have been announced by the Malaysian government to replace the BAE Systems Hawk, KAI expects it can give a variety of options to the RMAF that most of its international competitors fail to offer.

The T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft is now available in four variants: the T-50 advanced jet trainer, T-50B aerobatic, TA-50 lead-in fighter trainer and the FA-50 combat aircraft.

KAI sees further opportunities for the T-50 family in Africa and the Middle East, but there have been no nibbles from South America. Lee said there have been no new sales deals in Asia, at this time, but remains hopeful as the aircraft proves itself.

Lee said there was also interest in Asia for KAI's KUH-1 Surion multirole utility helicopter, but would not identify the interested party.

The 8t helicopter comes in a range of variants, including amphibious, maritime/navy, medevac and police.

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