By John Lee.
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has signed a $1.1 billion contract with Iraq to export T-50 supersonic advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft.
The deal for the 24 aircraft, which includes the training of Iraqi pilots, was signed today in Baghdad by KAI's President and CEO, Ha Sung-yong, Defense Acquisition Program Administration's Administrator, Lee Young-geol and the ROKAF deputy chief of staff, Kim Hyung-chol as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Following the contract, KAI will be entitled to supply its follow-on support to the Iraq Air Force for over two decades, bringing the total value to more than $2 billion.
The company says that it faced strong competition from the UK, Russia and the Czech Republic, with the BAE's Hawk-128, Yakovlev's Yak-130, and Aero's L-159 respectively.