Korea Aerospace Expects Egyptian Light Fighter-Trainer Deal to Open African Market

  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 10:37 AM, March 2, 2023
  • 887
Korea Aerospace Expects Egyptian Light Fighter-Trainer Deal to Open African Market
Egyptian AOI- KAI sign cooperation deal @AOI

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) expects to win the preferred bidder status for Egypt's project to locally produce jet trainers and light fighters, KAI CEO Kang Gu-young told reporters at the Avalon Airshow in Geelong, Australia Wednesday.

The Egyptian deal will open doors to the vast African market which has so far been the domain of Chinese and Russian aircraft makers- mainly due to affordability. "Egypt's strategic geographic location (between the northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia) would then open many other doors of opportunity," Kang said.

The Egypt deal, if it materializes, will be KAI’s biggest export ever- the requirement is for over 100 aircraft of the T-50 and FA-50 Golden Eagle planes.

It recently inked a deal for 18 jets to Malaysia and in late 2022 sold 48 Golden Eagle aircraft to Poland where it plans to set up an assembly plant.

Prospects of KAI in Egypt look bright as it has signed a deal with Egypt's Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) in December 2022 to localize the manufacturing technology of FA-50 advanced trainer/fighter in order to assemble the aircraft in Egypt and export to third countries.

However, Egypt may be looking at other options such as the Chinese L-15 which was recently sold to the U.A.E. Its manufacturer, China’s AVIC, has similar intentions- to supply to Egypt as well third countries from an Egyptian manufacturing base.

Another keen contender is India with its LCA Tejas which share an engine commonality with the Golden Eagle. At the recently concluded Aero India exhibition, its maker, HAL, revealed that it was in talks with Egypt and Argentina to sell the LCA Tejas planes.

Korea Aerospace Expects Egyptian Light Fighter-Trainer Deal to Open African Market
FA-50 aircraft in flight @KAI
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