Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has not received confirmation that it has won an order to supply the FA-50 to Argentina, Flight Global reports.
An anonymous source says the deal covers eight aircraft if it goes ahead instead of ten as first reported.
It is understood that the Leonardo M-346FA is also in contention for the deal to replace the Argentina’s legacy fleet of McDonnell Douglas A-4AR Fightinghawks.
Currently the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina – FAA) operates 24 A-4AR fighters in the ground attack role and three OA-4ARs in the training role.
The A-4AR programme of the 1990s saw Lockheed Martin and its Argentinian unit upgrade former US Marine Corps A-4Ms with a new cockpit, flight control, navigation and weapon systems and the ARG-1 radar – a derivative of the Northrop Grumman APG-66.
Should the FA-50 win the deal, it would mark the type’s first sale in the Western Hemisphere. Though the T-50, upon which the FA-50 is based, lost the pivotal T-X requirement to replace the Northrop T-38 with the US Air Force, it has enjoyed notable export success and overseas customers include Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, and Thailand. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) also has 145 examples.
Of the 200 T-50 and variants in service globally, 122 are used as advanced jet trainers, 72 as ground attack jets, and six for experimental and research work.
All T-50 family members are powered by the General Electric F404 engine. KAI’s website indicates that FA-50 can carry a range of precision guided munitions.
Photo credit: Republic of Korea Armed Forces
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