Korea to sell 24 units of T-50IQ to IraqUpdated: 2013-12-13 (KST)
Korea Aerospace Industries signed a landmark export contract with Iraq on Thursday.
The aerospace agency will provide 24 units of the T-50IQ multi-role light attack aircrafts to the middle eastern country by 2017. for 1.1 billion U.S. dollars.
The package deal includes pilot training and other operational support, making the total value of the deal worth more than two billion dollars.
It's the most expensive single defense export deal Korea has ever seen.
The T-50IQ, built by Korea Aerospace Industries, is a supersonic light fighter that can also be used as an advanced trainer jet.
With an engine output of more than 8-thousand kilograms and a top speed of Mach 1.5 it can load more than 45-hundred kilograms of armed gear.
The biggest strengths of the T-50IQ, officials say, is that it's one of the world's most advanced trainers, suitable for fifth-generation fighter jets.
Plus, it can carry the latest weapons, such as AIM-9 air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 air-to-surface missiles and JDAM guided bombs.
KAI officials say there's rising global demand for light fighters to replace aging fighter jets, and that the T-50 is emerging as an attractive option because of its competitive price range.
Officials aim to sell more than a thousand units, with a target to increase its global market share to up to 30 percent.
One unit of the T-50, has the same econonmic effect as selling 1-thousand units of mid-sized automobiles.
The contract with Iraq, has shed a new light on Korea's defense industry, demonstrating a potential to become a new growth engine for the nation.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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