The T-50 Golden Eagle, formerly known as the KTX-2, jet trainer and light attack aircraft is being built for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF). The aircraft is being developed in the T-50A advanced trainer and T-50B lead in fighter trainer versions. The T-50 LIFT is called the A-50 by RoKAF. The T-50 is designed to provide pilot training for current and next-generation fighters like advanced F-16s, F-22s and the joint strike fighter.
The first flight of the T-50 took place in August 2002. The RoK Air Force has a requirement for 50 T-50 trainers and 44 T-50 LIFT. RoKAF placed a production contract for the first 25 T-50 in December 2003 and the first production aircraft was rolled out in August 2005.
The first two aircraft were delivered to RoKAF in December 2005 and the aircraft entered service in April 2007. 13 aircraft are currently operational. Two squadrons (30 to 40 aircraft) are due to be operating by 2008.
1,000 flights have been completed in the test programme. The A-50 made its first flight in September 2003. A programme of weapon delivery flight testing is continuing and deliveries of the A-50 are planned to begin in 2009.
In December 2006, the RoKAF placed a second production contract for 50 T-50 and A-50 aircraft.
KAI is developing a fighter version based on the T-50, called the F/A-50 for the RoKAF, which has a requirement for 60 aircraft to replace the F-5. It is planned that the F/A-50 will be fitted with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
The development of the aircraft has been funded 13% by Lockheed Martin, 17% by Korea Aerospace Industries and 70% by the Government of South Korea. Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (KAI) is the Republic of Korea's national aerospace company, established in 1999 with the consolidation of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company. The T-50 is being built at the KAI facility in Sachon.
KAI is the prime contractor and is responsible for the design of the fuselage and tail unit. The mid-mounted variable camber wings are manufactured by Lockheed Martin Fort Worth. Lockheed Martin is also responsible for the avionics and electrical flight control system, as well as for general technical consulting.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems and KAI have created the T-50 International Company, known as TFIC, to pursue export markets outside Korea. The aircraft is considered as a candidate for the F-5 replacement market.
The aircraft has digital fly-by-wire controls and HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick). The cockpit displays include two 127mm full colour Honeywell multifunction displays, Honeywell instrumentation displays and a head-up display (HUD) supplied by BAE Systems.
The full authority digital flight control system and avionics were developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Division at Fort Worth.
The flight equipment includes a navigation / attack system, a Honeywell H-764G embedded global positioning / inertial navigation system and HG9550 radar altimeter, Rockwell Collins VIR-130A integrated VOR / instrument landing system and ARN-153V advanced digital tactical aid to navigation, and Raytheon ARC-232 VHF radio.
The AN/APG-67(V)4 multi-mode radar, supplied by Lockheed Martin, is installed in the nose of the LIFT version.
The two crew, tandem stepped cockpit is fitted with an on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) and ejection seats supplied by Martin Baker of Uxbridge, UK.
The aircraft has seven external hardpoints for carrying weapons, one on the centreline under the fuselage, two hardpoints under each wing and an air-to-air missile launch rail at the two wingtips.
The wingtip launch rails can carry AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. The underwing and centreline hardpoints can carry rocket pods, air-to-surface missiles or air-to-air missiles according to the mission requirements, e.g. AGM-65 Maverick missiles or mk82/83/84 bombs or rocket launchers.
In November 2005, the A-50 successfully test-fired an AIM-9L air-to-air missile.
A 20mm General Dynamics Armaments three-barrel M61 cannon is installed internally on the A-50 LIFT version. The gun is mounted behind the cockpit and carries 205 rounds of ammunition in a linear linkless feed system. The A-50 LIFT can carry electronic warfare pods and a radar warning receiver.
The aircraft is powered by a single General Electric turbofan engine, type F404-GE-102, with FADEC (full authority digital electronic control). It is a derivative of the 402 with additional improvements in the turbine and afterburner. The engine has twin side-mounted air intakes on either side of the fuselage under the wing.
The engine, with a three-fan stage and seven axial stage arrangement, is equipped with full authority digital engine control and generates 78.7kN with afterburn.
The aircraft has seven internal fuel tanks, five in the fuselage and two in the wings, which can carry 2,655l of fuel with the option of three additional 570l external fuel tanks.
The aircraft is fitted with an Argo-Tech fuel system. The power generator is supplied by Hamilton Sundstrand.
The aircraft is equipped with Messier Dowty retractable tricycle-type landing gear. Each unit is single wheeled and fitted with oleo pneumatic shock absorbers. The main wheels are retracted into the trunks of the engine air intakes. The nose wheel retracts forward.
Wingspan Including Missiles9.17m
Empty Weight 6,263kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight Without External Payload 8,890kg
Maximum Take-Off Weight With External Payload 11,974kg
Type1 x General Electric F404-102 turbofan
Engine Length 4,030mm
Engine Diameter 880mm
Engine Dry Weight 1,035kg
Take-Off Power Rating 78.7kN
Maximum Level SpeedMach 1.4
Maximum Altitude 14,500m
Manoeuvrability+8g to -3g
ISO Group - Spare Parts Logistics for Military Aircraft.