The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) took delivery of two South Korea-made fighter trainer jets it has ordered.
The trainer jets with four South Korean pilots yesterday landed at Wing 4 in Nakhon Sawan’s Takhli district. RTAF commander Johm Rungswang presided over a ceremony to take delivery of trainer jets.
He also welcomed six RTAF pilots who have completed training for the trainers from the aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).
Initially, the two trainer jets were scheduled to be delivered on Jan 11 but their engines were damaged in Malaysia as the jets encountered poor weather during their flight over.
Repairs caused a two-week delay in delivery.
ACM Johm said the engines sustained only slight damage and KAI had replaced them with new ones. However, the company will be required to report details relating to damage to the RTAF, ACM Johm said, adding the jets have a two-year warranty.
In September 2015, the government chose the KAI T-50 variant for its air force to replace its ageing L-39 ZA/ART trainers which have been in use for more than two decades.
New trainer jets are needed to give pilots exposure to advanced air training technologies and boost their capabilities in air defence, ACM Johm said.
The government approved the RTAF’s plan to procure a total of 12 T-50TH fighter trainers. A budget of 3.7 billion baht has been allocated for the first batch of four jets.
The other two trainer jets from that batch will arrive in March.
The second batch of eight trainer jets will be delivered next year.
The T-50TH is a version of the T-50 Golden Eagle light supersonic trainer jet developed by KAI in cooperation with US-based Lockheed Martin.
Source: Bangkok Post