Officials from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company highlighted today (July 24, 2002) at the Farnborough Air Show in England the progress of the T-50 advanced trainer being developed by the two aerospace companies.
Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor to KAI, the prime contractor for the international T-50 Golden Eagle team.
"This is an exciting time in the T-50 program," said Kil, Hyoung-Bo, president of Korea Aerospace Industries. "The entire industrial team, with the support of the Republic of Korea Air Force, has been working diligently on this development program, which has remained on track since it began five years ago. We look forward to the first flight, expanding the flight test envelope and validating all the systems and capabilities."
The T-50's first flight is expected in August. The plane was rolled out in September -- more than 100 days ahead of schedule -- and has been undergoing extensive ground systems checkouts. Three other aircraft will join the flight test program that will continue through 2005. The second aircraft is undergoing checkout and is expected to begin flying late this year.
In addition, two structural ground test vehicles were built. Static structural testing began on the first aircraft in January, and durability testing on the second is scheduled to begin at the end of this month. All structural and flight testing is being conducted at government facilities in Korea.
The T-50 is the only supersonic advanced jet trainer in development. It will have state-of-the-art aerodynamic/structural design and subsystems to approximate advanced fighters. Subsystems include the latest version of the General Electric F404 engine, a full-authority digital flight control system, a highly integrated color cockpit, and the latest avionics and processors. System reliability and maintainability will help keep readiness and flight rates high while holding down operating and support costs.
"We think there is a large global market for T-50 advanced jet trainers and derivatives," said Robie D. Notestine, Lockheed Martin's senior marketing director of T-50 International. "We see a need for a supersonic advanced jet trainer that will prepare pilots to fly both today's and tomorrow's advanced fighters. The Golden Eagle is the only aircraft in this class in development and is likely to be the only one available in production in the second half of this decade. We also intend to develop a world class training system, complete with pilot training simulators and courseware."
Lockheed Martin's partnership with Korea is just one example of the company's successful track record in cooperative development and production efforts. Other cooperative programs include the Taiwan Indigenous Defensive Fighter, Japan F-2, F-16 Mid-life Update, Italian C27J and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
A lead-in fighter trainer version, with a multimode radar and armament system, is also in development.
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. is the Republic of Korea's national aerospace company established in 1999 with the consolidation of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company. KAI lines of business include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter aircraft and satellites. Its major products are the KF-16, KT-1 basic trainer, T-50/A-50, SB427 helicopters, aerostructures and KOMPSAT satellite program.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin Corporation
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Employing about 125,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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