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T-50 Development Team Celebrates 1,000th Flight of Advanced Trainer
PRNewswire-FirstCall
FORT WORTH, Texas

The T-50 Full Scale Development (FSD) team celebrated completion of the 1,000th flight of their new advanced jet trainer today at Korea Aerospace Industries' facilities at Sacheon, South Korea. The event was attended by representatives of the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), other Korean government agencies and the international industry team building the T-50.

"I congratulate the entire T-50 FSD team on this important milestone in the flight test program," said Maj. General Namgung, Hyuck, Commander of ROKAF Aerospace Projects Group. "T-50 FSD has been a model development program, and we look forward to completing flight tests this fall on schedule. The success is even more impressive when we consider this is Korea's first high- performance aircraft development program. We all can be proud of our achievements."

The T-50 is being developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with assistance from Lockheed Martin . The ROKAF is conducting the flight test program from Sacheon Air Base, South Korea, with support from the aircraft contractors.

"This historic flight symbolizes the success of the T-50 program and the maturity of the T-50 design," said Chung, Hae-Joo, president of KAI. "The flight test program has been extremely smooth, without a mishap or serious problem. It is now approaching 90 percent complete, and we expect to be finished this fall, on schedule."

T-50 flight testing began on Aug. 20, 2002, and the last test aircraft began flying on Sept. 4, 2003. Since then, the four test aircraft have been flying regularly with no significant problems.

"Eight-seven percent of the flights have been flown with no discrepancies," said Chung. "This is rare for a flight test program of a sophisticated aircraft and is a strong testament of the reliability of the aircraft. We expect the production aircraft to do at least as well."

Chung said, "The success of the T-50 FSD program is allowing the production program to proceed ahead of schedule. We currently have four aircraft in final assembly and are on track to deliver the first aircraft in October, two months ahead of contract."

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The T-50 is the only supersonic trainer in development or production. It has the performance, handling qualities, cockpit and advanced systems necessary to train pilots to fly both today's advanced fighters and the next generation of combat aircraft.

The T-50 Golden Eagle is being developed by KAI for the ROKAF. Lockheed Martin is providing technical expertise for the FSD program and is responsible for developing the T-50 avionics system, flight control system and wings. KAI and Lockheed Martin have an agreement for joint international marketing of the T-50. The program entered the transition-to-production phase with initial contract from the ROKAF awarded to KAI in December 2003. The first production aircraft is expected to be delivered in late 2005.

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 Co. 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, SB427 helicopters, UAVs, aerostructures and KOMPSAT satellite program.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion.

             For additional information, visit our Web sites:
                      http://www.lockheedmartin.com/
                         http://www.koreaaero.com/

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

CONTACT: Joe Stout of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company,
+1-817-763-4086, or joe.w.stout@lmco.com