Air Force Receives 50th T-50 Trainer Jet

The Korean Air Force's 50th T-50 Golden Eagle trainer jet successfully touched down on a runway at a base in Gwangju. The landing marks the completed delivery of the final unit of the nation's first indigenous supersonic aircraft.

A ceremony to mark the occasion was held at a base in South Jeolla Province with about 150 military and non-military officials in attendance.

The advanced trainer and light attack jet was developed by Korean Aerospace Industries and first delivered in 2005. Its development significantly upgraded Korea's aerospace technology, with only a handful of nations training pilots in indigenous aircraft. So far 190 Air Force academy students have completed T-50 training, which began in 2007.

Korea awarded a contract to KAI to convert four T-50s to the more-advanced FA-50 standards by 2012. It has requested 60 FA-50 fighters by 2013 with an aim to eventually expand the number to 150.

Currently KAI is seeking an international marketing program for the T-50 variant.

Arirang News / May 14, 2010 11:47 KST