15 Februari 2014

KAI Eyes Final FA-50 Deal with Philippines in H1

15 Februari 2014

KAI F/A-50 aircraft (photo : koreaaero)

SINGAPORE (Yonhap) -- Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI), South Korea's sole aircraft maker, expects to sign a US$450 million deal to export FA-50 light attackers to the Philippines in the first half of this year, the company head said Friday.

KAI has teamed up with the state-run Defense Acquisition Program Administration to sell 12 FA-50 aircraft to the Philippines through a government-to-government program.

While a final contract had been expected within last year after the Manila government signed a memorandum of understanding, the decision was delayed as Typhoon Haiyan swept the Southeast Asian nation in November.

"Although the schedule has been delayed due to situations (in the Philippines), we will be able to sign a contract within the first half of this year," said KAI CEO Ha Sung-yong, who is attending the Singapore Air show to promote Korean-made aircraft.

"As it is a government-to-government deal, we expect a good result, waiting for the Philippine government's final decision."

The FA-50 is a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer that was co-developed by KAI and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin, which was designed to replace F-5 class aircraft operated by the South Korean Air Force.

In December, KAI signed a contract to a US$1.1 billion deal to export 24 FA-50s to Iraq.

The South Korean aircraft maker is also seeking to export T-50 family jets to the Philippines, Peru and Botswana, while eyeing the U.S. Air Force's T-38 replacement program this year.


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