Air force secures 14 Korean trainer jets

Air force secures 14 Korean trainer jets

Four Korean-made T-50TH advanced trainer jets are parked at the air force's Wing 4 in Nakhon Sawan's Takhli district in April, 2018 awaiting an official ceremony to deliver them. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Four Korean-made T-50TH advanced trainer jets are parked at the air force's Wing 4 in Nakhon Sawan's Takhli district in April, 2018 awaiting an official ceremony to deliver them. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The air force has procured 14 Korean-made T-50TH advanced trainer jets, said a source on Wednesday.

He was responding to a news report on Monday by Yonhap news agency that Korea Aerospace Industries Co (KAI), South Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer, said it has a US$78 million (2.5 billion baht) deal to supply trainer jets to Thailand.

Under the deal, KAI will supply two T-50TH advanced trainer jets to the Thai air force by November 2023, said the report, citing the company's regulatory filing.

The first two T-50TH advanced trainer jets arrived in Thailand on Jan 21, 2018 while another two jets arrived later in March the same year, said the source.

Eight more jets were delivered on various occasions in 2019, said the source.

The other two jets were purchased with a budget allotted to the air force in the fiscal year 2021 and are expected to arrive in Thailand in November 2023. It remains uncertain whether two more jets will be next purchased to make it a full fleet of 16 jets or not. Defence spending has come under scrutiny since the Covid pandemic started.

An air force source said 14 such jets are enough. These new trainer jets, which can also double as fighter jets, are to replace the L-39 ZA/ART aircraft, said the source.

KAI has achieved $400 million worth of deals to supply 16 T-50 trainer jets to date, said the Yonhap report. KAI has exported 156 trainer jets worth US$3.1 billion -- 72 T-50 advanced trainer jets worth US$2.6 billion and 84 KT-1 basic trainer jets worth US$700 million -- to countries including Indonesia, Turkey, and the Philippines since its foundation in 1999, said the report.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (57)

Workers race to keep oil from Rayong shores

RAYONG: Hundreds of workers set up oil barriers along beachfronts in this eastern province on Friday as authorities raced to limit the environmental damage from oil that leaked from an underwater pipeline earlier this week.

28 Jan 2022

Taxman to go easy on crypto traders

The Finance Ministry plans to ease tax rules for investments in digital assets, a senior official said on Friday, following a surge in crytocurrency trading.

28 Jan 2022

Hong Kong's best-known travel agency folds after 50 years

HONG KONG: One of Hong Kong's best-known tour operators has decided to wind up after 50 years of business and amid the worsening Omicron outbreak, with an industry leader expecting the travel sector's woes to continue for the rest of 2022 at least.

28 Jan 2022