SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, said Friday it has won a 1.2 trillion-won (US$920 million) aircraft deal from Malaysia, with the delivery set to begin in 2026.
KAI signed the deal with the Malaysian defense ministry to export 18 FA-50 light attack aircraft, beating India’s Tejas, Pakistan’s JF-17, Russia’s MIG-35 and Turkey’s Hurizet, the company said in a statement.
It is the fourth time for KAI to sign an aircraft deal with a Southeast Asian country after Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, the statement said.
With the latest deal, KAI has exported 68 KT-1 basic and T-50 advanced trainer jets, as well as FA-50 aircraft, to Southeast Asian markets.
Globally, it has obtained deals to supply 222 aircraft to countries, which also include Iraq, Poland, Peru and Senegal.
KAI also expects to win a deal to provide another 18 FA-50s to Malaysia as the Southeast Asian country plans to beef up its aircraft fleet.
It aims to expand exports of its aircraft to the Middle East, Africa, Australia, the United States and other markets.
KAI’s net profit more than doubled to 115.9 billion won for all of 2022 from 53.3 billion won the previous year.
The bottom line was buoyed by increased plane part deliveries to clients, including Airbus and Boeing, and the won’s weakness against the dollar.
Its operating profit also more than doubled to 142 billion won from 58.3 billion won over the cited period. Sales rose 8.8 percent to 2.78 trillion won from 2.56 trillion won.
In 2023, KAI targets 3.83 trillion won in sales and aims to win 4.48 trillion won in parts and aircraft orders.
Last year, the company set an order target of 4.19 trillion won but achieved a far higher number, 8.74 trillion won.