January 24, 2007
LYNN, Mass. -- The Government of South Korea has signed a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for approximately 50 additional F404-102-powered T-50 and TA-50 Golden Eagle advanced jet trainers bringing, the total number of T-50s ordered by South Korea to more than 70.
The single-engine T-50 was co-developed by KAI and Lockheed to train pilots who will fly advanced and 5th generation fighters, such as the F-35. It can also be used as a light attack aircraft when equipped with various arms, such as air-to-air missiles.
Under terms of a T-50/F404-102 co-production agreement, GE provides engine kits directly to Samsung Techwin who produces designated parts as well as performs final engine assembly and test.
Fifty-seven engine kits have been ordered to cover these aircraft and associated spare engine requirements for the fleet.
The -102 is a derivative of the F404-402, retaining the engine's improved fuel efficiency and benefiting from advanced technologies and materials in the turbine and afterburner sections. The -102 incorporates single-engine safety features and a new FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Electronic Control) system derived from the F414 FADEC.
"We congratulate KAI for completing this sale and look forward to supporting the T-50 program in our continuing role of providing top-quality engine kits for this high performance trainer," said Tony Mathis, GE's turbofan/turbojet general manager.
The new aircraft will be used for advanced jet training and lead-in fighter training. All the aircraft will be delivered from KAI's production facility in Sacheon, South Korea.
The T-50 Golden Eagle is the world's only high performance supersonic trainer in production today. It incorporates a high performance supersonic jet trainer, a modern ground based training system, and a fully integrated logistics support package, designed to provide the most efficient training environment at a low life cycle cost. Future variants including an attack (A-50) version are also planned.
In December 2003, the companies signed their first contract with the Republic of Korean Ministry of National Defense for the mass production of T-50s. Two years later, the first production T-50 was delivered. Currently, eight aircraft are operational and providing advanced training for future fighter pilots, with approximately one new aircraft delivery being added to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) fleet each month.