KAI T-50 Golden Eagle


The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle (골든이글) is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and multirole light fighters, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with the American aerospace company Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Development began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005.


Development of the FA-50 combat aircraft began in October 1997. Six prototypes were built during the development phase that concluded in January 2006.

The FA-50 was awarded military type certificate by the Korean Military Aircraft Airworthiness Committee (MAAC) in October 2012. It is the first fighter-class military aircraft to receive the MAAC certification.

FA-50 Taxi Side View - Korea Aerospace Industries thru Flickr

The indigenously developed FA-50 light attack aircraft will replace the ROKAF’s ageing fighter fleet of F-5E/F and A-37 aircraft. The FA-50 will also strengthen the defence capability of the ROKAF.

The FA-50 is the most advanced version of the T-50, possessing more internal fuel capacity, enhanced avionics, a longer radome and a tactical datalink. It is equipped with a modified Israeli EL/M-2032 pulse-Doppler radar with Korean-specific modifications by LIG Nex1.

EL/M-2032 pulse-Doppler radar

ELM_2032-Airborne-Fire-Control-Radar Israeli EL/M-2032 pulse-Doppler radar

The engine could be either Eurojet EJ200 or General Electric F414, upgraded to 20,000 lb or 22,000 lb thrust, roughly 12-25% higher than the F404’s thrust; and are offered to prospective customers for the T-50.

Eurojet EJ200

1hEurojet EJ200 

General Electric F414


The radar of the FA-50 has a range two-thirds greater than the TA-50’s radar. The EL/M-2032 was initially chosen over Lockheed Martin’s preferred AN/APG-67(V)4 and SELEX Vixen 500E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. Other AESA radars such as Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar and Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar are options for future production, and may be shared with the radar chosen for USAF and ROKAF F-16 fighters. Samsung Thales is also independently developing a domestic multi-mode AESA radar for the FA-50.

KF-16 upgrade: Details

Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA) AN/APG-83ROKAF F-16 upgrade

The new contract also sees the Koreans drop the Raytheon produced AN/APG-68 radar for the AN/APG-83 produced by Northrop Grumman. Source defenceindustrydaily.com

Unlike traditional mechanically scanned radars, SABR’s electronic scanning eliminates the need for moving parts. The single, consolidated line-replaceable unit contains the receiver, exciter, and process functions. Solid-state electronics foster three- to five-times greater reliability versus current fire-control radar systems. Electronically scanned beams accelerate area searches, resulting in earlier and longer range target detections and tracking. This also ensures rapid target updates and enables interleaved mode operations for greater mission effectiveness, situational awareness, and survivability.

SABR utilizes a larger-area, high-definition, synthetic aperture radar capability named “BIG SAR.” This alternative mode provides pilots with detailed target areas and digital map displays that can be precisely tailored. This, too, enables greater situational awareness, as well as more flexibility and quicker all-weather targeting. (Lockheed Martin)


In December 2008, South Korea awarded a contract to KAI to convert four T-50s to FA-50 standard by 2012. In 2012, the ROKAF ordered 20 FA-50 fighters to be delivered by the end of 2014. The maiden flight of the FA-50 took place in 2011. 60 FA-50 aircraft are to be produced for the ROKAF from 2013 to 2016. KAI received a 1.1 trillion won ($1 billion) order for FA-50 fighter aircraft in May 2013.


Samsung Thales and LIG Nex1 are the main avionics and electronic warfare equipment developers for T-50 and its variants.

The T-50 is equipped with a Honeywell H-764G embedded global positioning/inertial navigation system and HG9550 radar altimeter. The aircraft is the first trainer to feature triple-redundant digital fly-by-wire controls. The cockpit panels, switches, and joysticks are produced by South Korea’s FirsTec and Sungjin Techwin, head-up display by DoDaaM Systems, and multi-function display by Samsung Thales.

Honeywell H-764G embedded global positioning/inertial navigation system

EGI family includes the H-764

EGI-FamilyShot-740x400.jpgImage: honeywell.com

HG9550 radar altimeter


Honeywell to Supply Avionics for Korea Aerospace Industries LTD.’s T-50 Aircraft for Royal Thai Air Force: Here

1438858935-1315857-o59407_800T-50 advance cockpit

MTS-209 Selected to Support Thailand T-50 Trainer Aircraft: Here



Common Armament Test Set Offers Comprehensive I-Level Test Capabilities for T-50 Aircraft

Irvine, CA. January 9, 2017 – Marvin Test Solutions’ MTS-209 Common Armament Test Set has been selected by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) as part of the support package for a group of T-50TH aircraft purchased by the Thai Air Force in 2015 and slated for delivery in the next 24 months. The new aircraft will replace aging L-39 Albatros trainers.

The T-50 “Golden Eagle” was jointly developed by KAI and Lockheed Martin as a multi-role trainer and has several variants, including a light combat aircraft, capable of supersonic speeds.

The MTS-209 (also referred-to as the Stores Suspension Unit Tester, or SSUT) is a state-of-the-art portable test set for various armament systems used on the F-16, F-15, F-18, T-50, TA-50, FA-50, Hawk and additional aircraft, supporting a wide range of Alternate Mission Equipment (AME) including missile launchers, aircraft pylons, and bomb racks. Based on the proven MTS-207 Rugged Field Test, the MTS-209 combines the test capabilities of an I-Level (backshop) test set in a compact, rugged, flightline-qualified enclosure. The test set’s modular design simplifies logistics, and its flexible, scalable PXI architecture enables future upgradeability to match evolving test requirements.

Other South Korean subcontractors such as Elemech, Dawin Friction, and Withus cooperate in T-50 components production. Hanwha supplies the mechanical parts for the flight control system, and WIA supplies the undercarriage.



South Korean Air Force FA-50 supersonic multi-purpose light fighter 1

Lockheed Martin flies first T-50A aimed at USAF T-X competition

Key Points

  • Lockheed Martin has completed an initial test flight of a modernised T-50A
  • The aircraft was developed jointly with Korean Aerospace Industries for USAF’s T-X trainer programme

Lockheed Martin completed a first test flight of a modernised T-50A that it developed jointly with Korea Aerospace Industries for US Air Force’s (USAF’s) T-X trainer programme, the company announced on 2 June.

The T-50A is the company’s aircraft offering in the USAF’s competition to replace the ageing Northrop T-38 Talon. The T-50A configuration is a block upgrade of the existing T-50 design. Changes include aerial refuelling capability, embedded training, open system architecture, and a fifth-generation cockpit, company officials have said.

Source janes.com


Second Lockheed Martin T-50A Takes Flight in Greenville, South Carolina

MP17-0314-TX-1 First Flight_003_DMImage: lockheedmartin.com

GREENVILLE, S.C., Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Two Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) T-50A aircraft are now soaring together in the skies over Greenville, South Carolina. The inaugural Feb. 20 flight of the second production-ready T-50A from Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Pilot Training (APT) operations center in Greenville further demonstrates the company’s established, lowest-risk offering in the U.S. Air Force’s T-X competition.

In February 2016, Lockheed Martin announced its plan to offer the T-50A in the APT competition and build the aircraft at a final assembly and checkout (FACO) facility in Greenville. Lockheed Martin formally unveiled its T-50A FACO and operations center in August 2016.

The T-50A is ready on day one of contract award and is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking. It will train the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II pilots of tomorrow, as well as pilots for frontline 4th Generation aircraft. The low risk T-50A builds upon the proven heritage of the T-50 with more than 150 T-50s flying today – 200,000 flight hours and counting – and more than 1,800 pilots who have trained in this aircraft.

Lockheed Martin’s accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System features innovative technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronized ground-based training platform. The T-50A team also brings extensive experience in world-class, worldwide logistics support. Source lockheedmartin.com


Operators: Here










 Data from Korea Aerospace, Lockheed Martin

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 13.14 m (43.1 ft)
  • Wingspan: 9.45 m (31 ft) (with wingtip missiles)
  • Height: 4.94 m (16.2 ft)
  • Wing area: (23.69 m²)
  • Empty weight: 6,470 kg (14,285 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 12,300 kg (27,300 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× General Electric F404 (built under license by Samsung Techwin) afterburning turbofan
    • Dry thrust: 53.07 kN (11,925 lbf)
    • Thrust with afterburner: 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf)


  • Maximum speed: 1,640 km/h, 1,020 mph at 9,144 m or 30,000 ft (Mach 1.5)
  • Range: 1,851 km (1,150 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 14,630 m (48,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 11,887 m/min (39,000 ft/min)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.96
  • Max g limit: -3 g / +8 g



  • AN/APG-67 (T-50)
  • EL/M-2032 (TA-50 and FA-50)
  • Lockheed Martin Advanced Avionics

AN/APG-67 (T-50)

Note: armament for TA-50 and FA-50 only (Unless customized T-50 version)

AN/APG-67 (T-50)
Source: airforce-technology.com/wikipedia
Updated Feb 22, 2017

General Electric F404

1_RM12-engine General Electric F404 (built under license by Samsung Techwin) afterburning turbofan

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 154 in (3,912 mm)
  • Diameter: 35 in (889 mm)
  • Dry weight: 2,282 lb (1,036 kg)


  • Compressor: Axial compressor with 3 fan and 7 compressor stages
  • Bypass ratio: 0.34:1
  • Turbine: 1 low-pressure and 1 high-pressure stage


  • Thrust:

    • 11,000 lbf (48.9 kN) military thrust
    • 17,700 lbf (78.7 kN) with afterburner
  • Overall pressure ratio: 26:1
  • Specific fuel consumption:

    • Military thrust: 0.81 lb/(lbf·h) (82.6 kg/(kN·h))
    • Full afterburner: 1.74 lb/(lbf·h) (177.5 kg/(kN·h))
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.8:1 (76.0 N/kg)

Technical data 456fis.org

20 mm (0.787 in) General Dynamics A-50

500px-M197Gatling20 mm (0.787 in) General Dynamics A-50 3-barrel rotary cannon


Gun type Three-barrel, 20mm, externally powered Gatling gun
Weight 132 pounds (60 kg)
Rate of fire Up to 1,500 shots per minute
Dispersion 5 milliradians diameter, 80 percent circle
Muzzle velocity 8.0 milliradians diameter, 80 percent circle (M50)
Average recoil force 1,300 pounds (5.8 kN)
Feed system Linked or linkless
Drive system Hydraulic, electric, pneumatic

Technical data M-197 20mm Gatling Gun gd-ots.com

Hydra 70 Rockits

Hydry_70_General_DynamicsHydra 70 Rockits

LOGIR rockets


LOGIR rockets Guided a precision guided 2.75 inch (70 mm) rocket for use with existing Hydra 70 systems in service, as such it has many similarities with the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System program. The principal difference between the systems is that while APKWS uses terminal laser homing, requiring the target to be ‘painted’ until impact, LOGIR would guide to a position supplied by the launching aircraft, using imaging infrared in the terminal phase making it a true fire-and-forget weapon.Another advantage of LOGIR was that it was “especially effective against swarm attacks by enemies like small boats, as there’s no need for ongoing guidance.”

AIM-9 Sidewinder

aim-9m-sidewinder-heat-seeking-air-to-air-missileAIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile


ncade-amraam-820x438AIM-120 AMRAAM range 105-180 km at Mach 4

AGM-65 Maverick 


AGM-65 Maverick  using electro-optical, laser, charge-coupled device and infra-red guidance systems and has two types of warhead: one has a contact fuze in the nose, the other has a heavyweight warhead fitted with a delayed-action fuze, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before detonating range is greater than 22 km 1,150 km/h

Mk 82 (500 pound) and Mk 83 bombs (1,000 pound)

mk82usaf_01.jpg72b77f96-06b8-405a-abbb-a6161afb3959LargerMk 82 (500 pound) and Mk 83 bombs (1,000 pound)



The CBU-97 consists of an SUU-66/B tactical munition dispenser that contains 10 BLU-108 submunitions. Each submunition contains four hockey-puck-shaped sensor-fused projectiles called Skeets. These detect target vehicles, such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks and other support vehicles, and fire a kinetic energy penetrator downwards at them.

Spice 1000 guided weapon


Spice 1000 guided weapon carries a 500 kg (1,000 pound) Mk 83 warhead. It is capable of attacking targets at ranges extended beyond 60 km.

Spice 2000 guided weapon


Spice 2000. An add-on kit for 2000 lb warheads such as the MK-84



JDAM kits fitted to Mk 84, BLU-109, Mk 83, and Mk 82 unguided bombs



4 thoughts on “KAI T-50 Golden Eagle

  1. Pingback: KAI makes first delivery of fighter jets to the Philippines | thaimilitaryandasianregion

  2. Nicky

    Not a problem and that’s why I think their still is a niche for Pocket fighters and Point defense fighters such as the M-346 Master, BAE Hawk 200, Yak-130 and the F/A50 Golden Eagle. Look at the first generation of Pocket fighters and point defense fighters such as the A-4 Skyhawk.


  3. Nicky

    That’s why the F/A-50 fills a niche for a low cost pocket fighter and a point defense fighter for countries who are on an extremely tight budget. Pocket fighters like the M-346 Master, BAE Hawk 200, Yak-130 and the F/A50 Golden Eagle fulfill a niche for countries like the Philippines and even small countries who can’t afford High end European, Russian or American fighters. That’s why for countries who can’t afford a Gripen, the M-346 Master, BAE Hawk 200, Yak-130 and the F/A50 Golden Eagle is an option for them.

    I also think you need to cite this article in your blog that War is boring did

    This South Korean Jet Is a Bargain Dog fighter
    View story at Medium.com


    1. nonothai Post author

      Actually there are only 2 supersonic modern Pocket fighters as you call it the other is the Chinese Hongdu L-15 Falcon https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/hongdu-jl-10l-15-falcon-training-and-light-attack-aircraft/ the downside is it’s weapons which are Chinese for Air Forces which are already using western weapons it is costly I think that is one reason they failed the bid with the Royal Thai Air Force. But the Chinese have other supersonic trainers such as the Guizhou JL-9 https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/jl-9-jianlian-9-trainer-light-attack-aircraft-china/ but I guess they have the same downside unless you are already using Chinese weapons I guess. BTW thanks for the link to the article

      Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s