Lockheed Martin has signed a teaming agreement with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to explore future T-50 advanced jet trainer opportunities.

The agreement will see the two companies cooperate to market the T-50 worldwide.

The partners are expected to offer the training aircraft for various programmes internationally.

Developed by KAI and Lockheed Martin, the T-50 programme took its maiden flight in 2002, followed by its first production flight in 2005.

The companies have produced 208 aircraft, with an additional 28 on order across several aerobatic and combat variants such as T-50A trainer aircraft, T-50B, TA-50, and FA-50.

The T-50 programme has minimised the number of required flights to only nine sorties for the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (RoKAF) pilots learning in the KF-16.

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By GlobalData

Lockheed Martin Integrated Fighter Group Business Development vice-president Aimee Burnett said that the T-50 aircraft programme reduces the learning curve for trainee pilots and allows them to fly operational sorties faster.

Burnett said: “The seamless training experience with the T-50 gives student pilots an additional edge and fully prepares them – in less time than in the past – to fly any combat mission.” 

The T-50 components can be shipped to a single location and quickly assembled within less space.

Burnett added: “As an example, with the T-50, the mission capable rate is holding strong at 90% across 300,000 flight hours – an outstanding result that demonstrates our focus.”