Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) unveiled the new version of its T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer. The aircraft is joint effort of KAI and Lockheed Martin. Both companies are proposing it as the successor of the T-38 trainer, which is being used in the US Air Force. The whole initiative is named as T-X program.
The T-X program is likely to be one of the largest trainer acquisition worldwide. The USAF plans to induct 350 advanced trainers, to replace half a century old the T-38 Talon in service.
The T-X is equipped with state of the art cockpit, which has large area display (LAD), embedded avionics and training systems, and aerial refueling pod. The aircraft offers large dorsal ‘hump’ providing plenty of cooled space for additional avionic systems and antennae.
The new variant is designated as a flight demonstrator. This is due to undergo flight-testing in Korea in 2017. Post that it is slated for flight demonstrations in the USA by 2017.
The original T-50, along with its variants, came to being through technology transfer from Lockheed Martin.