Korea in final talks to win trainer jet order from Thailand

Ebony Scott
July 13, 2017

The proposal, tabled by Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, costs 8.8 billion baht (roughly $258 million), with payments taking place over several years.

According to industry sources, Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the number 2 man at the Thai Military and the Minister of Defence of Thailand, has made a decision to purchase eight KAI T-50 trainers at the price of 7.9 billion baht (US$231.55 million or 266.63 billion won) and requested approval for the budget.

The new trainers will replace the aging fleet of L-39ZA/ART jets bought from Czechoslovakia.

"KAI is in the final stage of receiving the order to build eight T-50 advanced trainer jets for Thailand's Air Force for 270 billion won (US$235 million)", the person, who wished to remain anonymous, told Yonhap News Agency.

Defence Ministry Spokesperson Major General Kongcheep Tantrawanich said the Cabinet had already approved in principle the purchase of the jets last October.

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The latest deal is equal to 20 percent of KAI's consolidated sales previous year.

The Prayut government earlier had approved the air force's plan to procure a total of 16 T-50TH jet trainers, four of which were delivered in the first batch, leaving the second batch of eight aircraft of that type and the third batch of another four aircraft for future delivery, according to the air force spokesman. If confirmed, the move would mark just the latest defense acquisition by the military government since coming to power following a coup in May 2014.

A formal contract to secure the deal is expected to be inked later this month.

Big lots of the hardware, such as tanks and a submarine, were bought from China, while some items were purchased from the USA, such as Black Hawk helicopters and Harpoon Block II Missiles.

Other reports by GizPress

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