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S Korea deploys armed variant of T-50 jet trainer

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The T-50B aircraft.

SEOUL (BNS): The South Korean Air Force has deployed a fleet of an armed version of its indigenously-built T-50 ‘Golden Eagle’ supersonic trainer aircraft, according to the official media.

The new aircraft, called T-50B, has been designed “to carry out a lead-in fighter training mission and light attack roles,” the Yonhap news agency reported.

The T-50 Golden Eagle, built by the Korea Aerospace Industries, has been deployed in the Korean Air Force since 2005. The single-engine supersonic jet trainer is capable of carrying a 20mm gun, rocket pods, air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles.

The trainer has been developed to provide pilot training for present and new generation fighter aircraft like the F-16, F22 and the Joint Strike Fighter.

The T-50B has been developed as a lead in fighter trainer variant. The aircraft, also called A-50 by the South Korean Air Force, can carry electronic warfare pods and a radar warning receiver. It can fly at a speed of 1.5 Mach.

Another variant of the aircraft, the TA-50 advanced trainer, was rolled out last month with a full-fledged attack platform, Yonhap said.

South Korea had rolled out the first TA-50 in January this year.


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