Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the delivery of primary trainer aircraft, KC-100 Naraon, to the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) academy.
The MoU to supply KC-100 Naraon aircraft was signed between KAI, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), and the defence and transportation ministries, reported Yonhap News Agency.
Designed to replace the academy’s existing Russian-built T-103 trainers, the aircraft is expected to help fourth-year cadets to better understand flying dynamics.
Approximately 20 Ilyushin Design Bureau-built T-103 low-winged training aircraft are currently serving as ROKAF’s primary trainer aircraft, according to the news agency.
KAI said South Korea will be using the indigenously built KC-100 aircraft to train all of its air force pilots, following its use in the cadets training programme.
The company, which expects to sign a formal contract before the end of 2014, however, declined to disclose the contract value and the number of planes to be delivered.
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An unnamed KAI source said: "The operational use of the aircraft can open new export opportunities and help the domestic aviation industry."
Powered by a single Continental TSIOF-550-K engine, the KC-100 Naraon is a propeller-driven four seat, low-wing aircraft capable of carrying four people, at a maximum cruising speed of 363km/hr, and has an operational range of 2,020km.
Built with lightweight composite materials, the aircraft was originally built for the civil aviation market, and is equipped with a high-tech glass cockpit using LCD displays, and an array of avionic systems and safety features, such as collision alerts.
ROKAF currently uses the KT-1 basic trainer, the T-50 Golden Eagle and TA-50 supersonic jet trainers to familiarise its officers to front-line combat aircraft and cargo aircraft.
Image: South Korean Air Force currently uses T-103 low-winged training aircraft as primary trainer aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Jno