KAI T-50 Golden Eagle
|T-50: Advanced jet trainer
|TA-50: Lead-in fighter trainer
|FA-50: Light combat aircraft
|20 August 2002
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle (골든이글) is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin.
|KAI T-50 Golden Eagle
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The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a supersonic advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in partnership with Lockheed Martin. It is the first indigenous supersonic aircraft of South Korea and one of the few supersonic trainers in the world. The T-50 can perform various roles such as lead-in fighter training, air-to-ground attack, reconnaissance and aerobatics.
The T-50 program started in 1992 as KTX-2, but was suspended in 1995 due to financial constraints. The basic design was finalized in 1999 and the aircraft was officially named as T-50 Golden Eagle in 2000. The first flight took place in 2002 and the aircraft entered service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005. The T-50 has been exported to several countries such as Iraq, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Poland.
The T-50 is powered by a single General Electric F404-GE-402 turbofan engine with afterburner, giving it a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 and a range of 1,851 km. It has a digital fly-by-wire system, a glass cockpit with multifunction displays and a hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) control. It can carry various weapons on its seven hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, rockets, bombs and gun pods. It can also be equipped with a radar, a targeting pod, a reconnaissance pod and an electronic warfare pod.
The T-50 has several variants, such as the T-50B for the ROKAF aerobatic team Black Eagles, the TA-50 for lead-in fighter training and light attack, the FA-50 for multirole combat missions and the T-50IQ for the Iraqi Air Force. The T-50 is considered to be a cost-effective and versatile platform for training and combat operations.
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