KAI, or Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. has signed the contract with Iraq for exporting its T-50 aircraft, total of over $1.1 billion.
Government of Iraq and KAI announced in Baghdad, Iraq at 4:00 p.m. (10:00 a.m. local time) on the 12th December that the contract is signed for exporting its indigenous 24 T-50 aircrafts to Iraq, including training for Iraqi pilots, amounting to approximately over $1.1 billion. The signing ceremony was made with KAI’s President and CEO, Ha Sung-yong, Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s Administrator, Lee Young-geol and the ROKAF deputy chief of staff, Kim Hyung-chol as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in attendance. Following the contract, KAI will be entitled to supply its follow-on supports to Iraq Air Force for over two decades. The combined amount of export would reach more than $2 billion. In April 2011, KAI introduced the T-50-variant aircraft to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his visit to Korea and set out on marketing campaigns for those trainer airplanes. After July of the same year, the company started to enter negotiations with Iraq in earnest. KAI has since then fiercely competed with advanced nations in the aviation Industry, such as the U.K., Russia and the Czech Republic with the Hawk-128 of BAE, Yak-130 of Yakovlev and L-159 of Aero respectively and more for Iraqi’s selection of the type of aircraft.
„I am much thankful to the Iraqi government to purchase the T-50 aircraft. I think that the T-50 is the most optimal aircraft suitable for Iraqi&rsquos military operations. We will make our utmost efforts to support Iraqi Air Force and ensure the smooth operation of the T-50,” said Ha Sung-yong, President and CEO of KAI. He added, „The T-50 is the most suitable type for the next-generation fighter drills so the prospect of exporting T-50 aircrafts is promising. Also, the T-50 can be operated in a flexible manner ranging from an advanced trainer to a low-class fighter jet.” KAI is promoting aircrafts to the Philippines, Chile and Botswana, as well. KAI is about to start accepting orders for T-X Program, which is considered the world&rsquos largest aircraft market next year.
Source / Author: KAI