The Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), South Korea's sole aircraft maker, announced on July 11 that it has signed a 641.1 billion won (US$556.75 million) contract with Boeing to supply wing ribs for its new aircraft model B777X by 2030.
The latest deal is equal to 20 percent of KAI's consolidated sales last year. The KAI also extended its contract on the same day to supply pivot bulkheads for its popular B787 Dreamliners, pushing back the expiry date to 2028. The extended contract is worth 79 billion won (US$68.61 million). The KAI has won deals which make up 22 percent of its 2016 revenue on the day alone.
The KAI bagged a 380 billion won (US$330 million) deal from Airbus in February this year to supply wing top panels (WTP) for A320. It also won a 280 billion won (US$243.16 million) contract from Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer in April to supply wing parts for its aircrafts. The KAI has secured the deals worth 1.38 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) this year alone.
In addition, the KAI is receiving more deals for its T-50 advance jet trainer. According to industry sources, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the number 2 man at the Thai Military and the Minister of Defence of Thailand, has decided to purchase eight KAI T-50 trainers at the price of 7.9 billion baht (US$231.55 million or 266.63 billion won) and requested approval for the budget. Earlier, Thailand’s military government bought four T-50TH supersonic trainers for US$110 million (126.7 billion won) in 2015. The Royal Thai Air Force is planning to replace its ageing Czech-made L-39 trainers with T-50 and order 16 of the Korean-made aircraft.
Previously, the KAI obtained more T-50 contracts in the Philippines as well. During the ceremony to commemorate its 70th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force Day on the 4th, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said, “I will buy 12 more KAI’s light attack aircrafts during my term of office.” The KAI signed a contract with the Philippine government in March 2014 to supply 12 light attack aircrafts for export at the cost of US$420 million (483.8 billion won). It manufactured and supplied FA-50PH to the Philippine Air Force by adding advanced avionics equipment and loading functions on T-50. The KAI has sold a total of 56 units of T-50 so far – 16 in Indonesia in 2011, 24 in Iraq in 2013, 12 in the Philippines in 2014 and 4 in Thailand in 2015.