SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean military is seeking to export US$1 billion worth of an indigenous light attack aircraft to Peru, informed sources said Tuesday.
“We’ve been pushing to sell 24 units of the FA-50 to Peru, and are planning to submit a proposal for Lima’s fighter purchase project this month,” said a source, requesting anonymity. “Factoring in the necessary logistics support, the total amount of the envisioned exports would reach $2 billion.”
South Korea is likely to vie with Russia, Italy and China, with the selection expected to be made in the second half of this year, he added.
As a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer, the FA-50 was co-developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin. It is the most advanced variant of the T-50 family operated by the South Korean Air Force.
Equipped with a supersonic advanced light attack platform, the aircraft can carry a weapons load of up to 4.5 tons and be armed with such precision-guided weapons as the GBU-38/B Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and CBU-105 Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW).
“We could be a favorable bidder, as KAI won a $200 million deal for 20 KT-1 basic trainer aircraft from Peru in November 2012,” another source said.
Indonesia bought 16 units in 2011 and Iraq purchased 24 in 2013. The latest export was to the Philippines, which bought 12 units.’
South Korea’s vice defense minister, Baek Seung-joo, meanwhile, asked the Peruvian authorities to show “interest in South Korean companies that have been participating in the fighter purchase project,” his office said.
He is in Lima for a three-day visit starting Monday as part of his Latin American tour that began Friday and also took him to Columbia.