KAI Wins RMAF FLIT-LCA Tender

Korean Aerospace Industries FA-50PH. KAI

SHAH ALAM: Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) has won the tender to supply 18 FLIT-LCA to the RMAF, South Korean news agency, Yonhap reported today.

From Yonhap:
SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) — Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, said Friday it has won a 1.2 trillion-won (US$920 million or RM4 bIllion) aircraft deal from Malaysia, with the delivery set to begin in 2026.

KAI signed the deal with the Malaysian Defense Ministry to export 18 FA-50 light attack aircraft, beating India’s Tejas, Pakistan’s JF-17, Russia’s MIG-35 and Turkey’s Hurizet, the company said in a statement.

It is the fourth time for KAI to sign an aircraft deal with a Southeast Asian country after Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, the statement said.

With the latest deal, KAI has exported 68 KT-1 basic and T-50 advanced trainer jets, as well as FA-50 aircraft, to Southeast Asian markets.

Globally, it has obtained deals to supply 222 aircraft to countries, which also include Iraq, Poland, Peru and Senegal.

KAI also expects to win a deal to provide another 18 FA-50s to Malaysia as the Southeast Asian country plans to beef up its aircraft fleet.

It aims to expand exports of its aircraft to the Middle East, Africa, Australia, the United States and other markets.

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Defence Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Muez Abdul Aziz signing the contract with KAI president today at the Defence Ministry. KAI/Yonhap

To be updated

— Malaysian Defence

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35 Comments

  1. According to FlightGlobal, the aircraft “will come with several enhancements, namely the ability to conduct air-to-air refuelling and an expanded weapons capability.”

  2. Congrats to RMAF for the 18 FA50 block 20 + 18 in future. Next to consider is MRCA to replace ageing FA18D Hornet. Probably SU57 Felon?

  3. SU57 Felon is as good as dead, if RMAF wants and MRCA the only viable options are all from the West.

  4. Seriously why even unironically believe we should continue to even play around with the idea that we should look at getting Russian based equipment, let alone buying them. Its already a shitstorm for logistics to mix Western and Russian equipment.

    More so now with how there’s the various sanctions placed on Russia. This, in addition to how quite literally everyone is against Russia right now and for the foreseeable future.

  5. Alhamdulillah. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news.

    Here’s hoping for another 18 in the near future and possibly KF-21.

  6. Zam “Next to consider is MRCA to replace ageing FA18D Hornet. Probably SU57 Felon?”

    Not possible unless we wanted our economy to tank due to CAATSA while getting a weak AF without network centric abilities as the felon got next to none commonality & interoperability with the FA50.

    The likely MRCA candidate Is probably either the F35 or GCAP.

  7. Yes? No? We have seen these kinda “news report” before especially from India with the Tejas.
    Let’s wait and see if it were reported in our own MSM, then I will believe 50%.

    Why 50%? Becuz then I would question where we’d get the money to buy since we ought to be in trouble with Anwar telling us that PN Govt had gasap RM 900Bil govt money and we have ballooning RM 1.5Trillion debts, and we still paying for 1MDB… :rolleyes:

  8. Does anyone know if our FA-50s will have the Phantom Strike AESA radars. I suspect the MRCA will now likely be the KF-21 or even the TFX.

  9. Currently the best bet for MRCA is the Super Hornets. That said an order must be signed before 2025 as Boeing is saying that’s when it is shutting down the production line. 2027 if India orders the Super Hornets though the navy there seemed to prefer the Rafale

  10. Currently the best bet for MRCA is the Super Hornets. (Admin Marhalim)
    I kinda get that comment. Whether we get to buy the Kuwaiti Hornets or what is irrelevant at this point when MRCAs are discussed. The Super Hornets are a natural progression plus the fact that it’s still a superb strike fighter (call it fighter-bomber) platform.
    Sure we can mess around with F35As or Bs but who’s going to foot the maintenance bill? Or that it leaves a very long footprint moneywise to operate it.
    I’d second Super Hornets as a next MRCA if budget is there for it come 2025.

  11. Tom tom “Does anyone know if our FA-50s will have the Phantom Strike AESA radars. I suspect the MRCA will now likely be the KF-21 or even the TFX”

    If the FA50 get phantom strike then it would shoot amraam,sidewinder,jdam & NSM. And thus the MRCA too would need to be able to shoot the same missiles. KF21 & TFX aren’t exactly design to shoot American missiles.

  12. zaft – ” KF21 & TFX aren’t exactly design to shoot American missiles.”

    Where is this stated and by whom? How did you get this notion?

    Granted the Korean have their own missile programmes but it’s inconceivable that the KF-21 will not have commonality or be configured ”to shoot American missiles” given the ROKAF operates and stocks large quantities of U.S. guided ordnance and that the U.S. is South Korea’s main security partner.

  13. Taib – ” (call it fighter-bomber) platform.”

    Hence the ‘F/A’ prefix for ‘fighter/attack.

    Taib – ” around with F35As or Bs but who’s going to foot the maintenance bill?”

    No getting around the fact that fighters are getting more expensive to operate/sustain. They may have greater automation and greater level of electronics but all that stuff needs servicing plus test/support equipment and there is a need for personnel who are more highly skilled. All this adds to sustainmernt costs.

    Tom Tom – ”I suspect the MRCA will now likely be the KF-21 or even the TFX.”

    Who knows, maybe. Does it matter however? Whatever we get has to be operated at a systems centric level; we also need a AEW platform. Enthusiasts/observers/fanboys will be delighted when we eventually get a 5th gen LO platform but without a AEW platform there will be a missing but essential element.

    For me it will be interesting to see how we operate the F/A-50s when they enter service and also how they will also fulfill our longstanding LIFT requirement. Another issue with us is our lack of continuity; will we really get a second batch in the subsequent Malaysian Plan or will the cash get diverted for something else as frequently occurs?

  14. Azlan-“Another issue with us is our lack of continuity; will we really get a second batch in the subsequent Malaysian Plan or will the cash get diverted …”

    May it be diverted to AEW…

  15. TomTom “The PhantomStrike is system agnostic. It can fire any missile”.

    Technicality is not the only limiting factor. there’s also the operational, monetary & political factor.

    Azlan “Granted the Korean have their own missile programmes but it’s inconceivable that the KF-21 will not have commonality or be configured ”to shoot American missiles”
    While it is possible to throw good money (as we always do to make the agents happy) & make the system that isnt configured with the missiles of our choice to to shoot the missiles of our choice.

    The question is why? Why not just took the cheaper route & get a platform that can actually shoot the missiles of our choice out of the box? Oz had gone down this route before, getting the tiger to shoot US missiles was not a particularly great idea, it impacts it cost efficiency, reliability & upgradability.

    Azlan “given the ROKAF operates and stocks large quantities of U.S. guided ordnance and that the U.S. is South Korea’s main security partner.”

    Politically & economically speaking Korean like the Turk need American to provide them the umbrella of protection due to their approximately to bigger more powerful neighbors but at the same time they also seek strategic autonomy from the US. As too much American influence is detrimental to their own survival & interest.

    Thus Over time they both had reduced the dependency on murica platforms & munitions in favor for a domestic solution. The question for us is. Do we wanted to continue PM4 era strategic autonomy policy or should we go for more integration with the US. Afterall the US is the only country that could help us with our security & economics issues.

  16. I’d say nay to SH or Typhoon or Rafale as MRCA. 5th gen are already here and upcoming 6th gen soon. We’re going to be stuck with the MRCA for at least 20-30 years and we dont often update our fighter fleet as often as our regional peers. I wouldnt want us to be flying inferior planes while others with 5th gens run rings around them.

  17. zaft – ”Technicality is not the only limiting factor.”

    ”Technicality” is the core of what’s being discussed. PhantomStrike is intended to fire a variety of missiles. He mentioned the radar in that context; not your ”also the operational, monetary & political factor.”

    Zaft – ”The question is why? ”

    I leave the ‘why’ to you [BTW I answered the ”why” quite clearly]. I merely said that ”it’s inconceivable that the KF-21 will not have commonality or be configured ”to shoot American missiles” given the ROKAF operates and stocks large quantities of U.S. guided ordnance and that the U.S. is South Korea’s main security partner” in reference to your ” KF21 & TFX aren’t exactly design to shoot American missiles.” which is incorrect/nonsense… Same goes with the TAI TFX will will also fire American missiles until such a time when the Turks have matured substitutes.

    zaft – ” As too much American influence is detrimental to their own survival & interest.”

    Another statement from you which leaves a lot of questions as to how you come up with some of the things you do. Both are NATO members and rely immensely [for the past few decades] on the U.S.. Whilst Turkey [under Erdogan] sees itself as an awakening power [in the footsteps of the Ottomans] and has a shifting policy; the Koreans don’t see themselves that way and do not see ”too much American influence is detrimental”; they have benefited from it and continue to do so. You will notice that both countries are still reliant on foreign sources for a lotof what they buy and produce.

    zaft – ”Thus Over time they both had reduced the dependency on murica platforms & munitions in favor for a domestic solution. ”

    As it stands much of what they operate is American; their main security partner is America and when their 5th gens enter service most of the ordnance will continue for the foreseeable future to be American. Also; if you noticed; South Korea’s missile programmes still have a long way to go before maturity; the 5th gen LO platform will enter service during a period when AMRAAM, sidewinder X and other American ordnance ae available and are the most practical.

    zaft – ”Oz had gone down this route before, getting the tiger to shoot US missiles was not a particularly great idea,”

    So? Is it written in stone and holy writ? Others have done so and not encountered major issues.

    Nimitz – ”Oz had gone down this route before, getting the tiger to shoot US missiles was not a particularly great idea,”

    We can wish. If we do that great but again we’ll have a small batch of LCAS but with a follow on batch delayed customary. Another case of my ”buy a bit of everything but not enough of anything” syndrome. Quantity has a particular quality to it; some level of mass is needed and desired.

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