Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will additionally export the advanced combat trainer T-50TH to Thailand for the recognition of its excellent performance.
KAI announced on July 30 that the company signed a US$260 million contract to additionally export eight units of KAI’s combat trainer T-50TH with the Thai government. The contract includes aircraft, ground support equipment, and repair parts. The KAI will deliver the first two units in November 2019 and finish delivering the trainers by May 2020.
Previously, the Thai Air Force signed a contract to buy four T-50THs in 2015. KAI is planning to deliver four units, two each in January and in March of next year.
According to Global Fire Power, Thailand is a military powerhouse ranking 20th among 133 countries in 2017.
It is said that the Thai Air Force's decision to purchase the T-50TH reproved the fact that the model best met the requirements for light attacks as well as high-level drills and an introduction to tactical flight as one single platform.
"It is an honor for us to contribute to the enhancement and development of the Thai Air Force," said Jang Seong-sup, acting president of KAI. "We look forward to taking part in various future projects with the Thai Air Force as a key partner."
KAI expects that this export to Thailand will have a positive impact on developing export markets for the T-50. President Duterte of the Philippines announced his intention to buy 12 more FA-50PHs during his tenure on the day of delivering the FA-50PH (T-50 export model for the Philippines) on July 4. The deal with Thailand will lead to the export of a total of 64 units of the trainer –- six to Indonesia, 24 to Iraq and 12 to the Philippines and 12 to Thailand (four in the first delivery and eight in the second delivery) – and about US2.93 billion in exports.