Malaysia signs $920 million deal to buy South Korean light fighter jets

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : February 24, 2023, 17:59 Updated : February 25, 2024, 01:42

[Courtesy of the Korea Aerospace Industries]

SEOUL -- South Korean aircraft maker Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has secured a deal worth $920 million (1.2 trillion won) to deliver 18 light fighter jets called "FA-50" to Malaysia starting in 2026.
KAI said in a press release February 24 that FA-50 was selected as the preferred bidder by Malaysia's defense ministry among six light fighters that include Russia's MIG-35, Turkey's Hurizet and India's Tejas. Malaysia has become the sixth Southeast Asian country to buy KAI's products, after Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The contract came five months after KAI struck a $3 billion deal with Poland in September to sell 48 FA-50s to the European country. 

KAI has so far signed deals to supply 222 aircraft including its supersonic trainer called "T-50" to other countries. Thailand signed a contract with KAI in 2019 to improve its electronic warfare system and radars of its T-50 fleet. The light fighter jet has been developed into aerobatic and combat variants just like FA-50. As of August 2021, 72 T-50s were delivered to countries including Indonesia and Iraq. 
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