South America news

Colombia chooses South Korea’s TA-50, FA-50 as subsequent jet trainers, officers say

SANTIAGO, Chile — Colombia’s Air Power has chosen a mixture of TA-50 and FA-50 Golden Eagles as its subsequent jet trainers, navy sources informed Protection Information.

The Air Power plans to amass no less than 20 superior jet trainers with air-to-air and air-to-ground fight capabilities underneath a mission estimated to be value $600 million.

The Air Power has denied negotiations are underway to obtain the Golden Eagle variants, made by Korea Aerospace Industries. However native sources, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to the press, mentioned the Colombian authorities has acknowledged the Air Power’s choice for the South Korean plane and has insisted negotiations with KAI additionally contain Leonardo.

The Italian agency was shortlisted through the competitors course of and had provided its M-346 superior jet/lead-in fighter coach. The inclusion of opponents is supposed to assist Colombia negotiate the perfect deal.

Colombia is shopping for new plane to exchange its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly twin-engine, light-attack jets, which have been retired in June 2021. They have been utilized in each counterinsurgency missions and as tactical trainers. The brand new plane are additionally anticipated to quickly fill a functionality hole left by the getting older fleet of Israeli-made Kfir jets, Colombia’s foremost fight plane. The Air Power is to start retiring its Kfirs in 2023, almost definitely and not using a substitute readily available.

Fitted with ELM-052 energetic electronically scanned array radars from Israeli agency Elta Programs and armed with beyond-visual-range Derby missiles from Israel’s Rafael Superior Protection Programs, Colombia’s Kfirs are among the many high operational fighters in South America. However upkeep and operation prices have grown too costly, resulting in limits on flight hours and forcing the Air Power to say no invites to worldwide workout routines, equivalent to Crimson Flag within the U.S.

This could not be the primary time Colombia and South Korea work collectively. Colombia was one of many international locations that contributed troops to United Nations efforts within the Korean Warfare.

In 2012, the Colombian Navy ordered an undisclosed variety of South Korean-made SSM-700K anti-ship missiles to improve its 4 German-built Padilla-class ships. And in 2014 and in 2020, the South Korean Navy donated secondhand corvettes to its Colombian counterpart.

The Golden Eagle was developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin within the late Nineteen Nineties and first launched into service in 2005. It’s powered by a Common Electrical F404 turbofan, can attain speeds of Mach 1.5 and has a flight vary of 1,850 kilometers (1,150 miles). It may be armed with short-range, infrared-guided air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons. There are plans to combine the beyond-visual-range missiles AIM-120 and Derby in addition to gentle AESA radar expertise.

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