Egypt’s Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) has entered a cooperation agreement with Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) to localize the manufacturing technology of T-50/FA-50 Golden Eagle advanced trainer jet and light combat aircraft.
KAI pushes to sell its FA-50/T-50 Golden Eagle jet to the North African nation, while Egypt plans on exporting the aircraft to third parties.
The agreement which was signed last week provides the localisation of technology should Egypt acquire the Golden Eagle.
The Egyptian Air force (EAF) is in the market for a new trainer aircraft to replace its aging fleet and to train its student pilots for the newly delivered Rafale fighter jet, and incoming Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet.
If acquired, the aircraft will replace Egypt’s ageing Alpha Jet and K-8 jet trainers with 100 new jets, of which 70 will be manufactured locally.
Prior to the agreement signing, South Korean aerobatic display team “the Black Eagles” flew the Golden Eagle jets alongside Egypt’s “Silver Stars” over the Giza pyramids during an Air Show in August.
At the time, KAI was offering Egypt the Transfer of Technology (ToT) and joint production of FA-50/T-50 Golden Eagle advanced trainer jets.
Also, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited offered its Light Combat Aircraft-Lead-In Fighter-Trainer, based on the Tejas. Other competitors include the Leonardo M-346, Irkut Yak-130, and Aero Vodochody L-39NG.
HAL has also offered to set up a local production line and technology transfer in Egypt for the Tejas MK1 and is also pitching its range of indigenous choppers like the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
While Italian Leonardo is offering its M346 Master advanced combat trainer aircraft as part of a $10 billion weapons mega-deal signed in 2020 Egypt. The deal includes another four frigates, 20 corvettes based on the Falaj class that Fincantieri built for the United Arab Emirates, 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole jets, 24 M346 jet trainers, and a surveillance satellite.
Egypt will make it’s choice soon.
The South Korean-made Golden Eagle advanced trainer jet and light combat aircraft has seven hardpoints capable of carrying air-to-air/air-to-ground muntions as JDAM/AGM-65/AIM-9, targeting pods, also its fitted with a self protection sub-systems and multi-mode radar.
The Golden Eagle was developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin in the late 1990s and first introduced into service in 2005. It is powered by a General Electric F404 turbofan, can reach speeds of Mach 1.5 and has a flight range of 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles). It can be armed with short-range, infrared-guided air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons. There are plans to integrate the beyond-visual-range missiles AIM-120 and Derby as well as light AESA radar technology.
KAI plans to upgrade the FA-50 LCA by fitting it with new AESA radar, a comformal 300-gallon fuel tank to extend operational range, integrating the platform with new targeting pods and weaponry systems, including mid-range air-to-surface precision munitions and BVRAAMs.