South Korea unveils new indigenous next-generation basic trainer aircraft , unmanned FA-50 & LAH concepts

The four-engined electric-powered variant of the new Next Generation Basic Trainer. Photo c/o KAI.


As part of the ongoing Seoul International Aerospace  ADEX 2021 South Korean aviation company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has unveiled its new "next generation basic trainer" (NBT) aircraft, which is expected to supersede the current ones used by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).

The new aircraft will be available in two options: one with a standard single turboprop engine, and another with four electric-powered propellers.

The new aircraft is 11.6 meters long, has a wingspan of  11.2 meters, and is expected to be oriented towards preparing pilots to fly the more advanced T-50 Golden Eagle family of advanced trainers and light combat aircraft, and eventually to the upcoming KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft.

The aircraft is also expected to have a large digital glass cockpit, benefiting from technology from the KF-21 development.

A ground-based flight simulator is also being developed to support the aircraft and the new training curriculum of the ROKAF.

Not much details have been provided on the new aircraft yet, including details if KAI would totally replace the current KT-1 Woongbi, or how the ROKAF will integrate the new aircraft into service.


Also, KAI has unveiled its proposed unmanned variant of the FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft, which could be utilized for combat operations, or work in coordination with manned aircraft including the new KF-21 fighter.

It is expected that KAI would provide more details on these developments, including several others like the new unmanned Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) program, the NI-500VT surveillance UAV, and the Korean Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (K-UCAV) projects.




[1] Korea Aerospace Industries
[2] Korea Aerospace Industries

South Korea unveils new indigenous next-generation basic trainer aircraft , unmanned FA-50 & LAH concepts South Korea unveils new indigenous next-generation basic trainer aircraft , unmanned FA-50 & LAH concepts Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on October 19, 2021 Rating: 5

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