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KAI to develop an improved variant of the FA-50 Golden Eagle


Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has begun the development of its FA-50 Golden Eagle improvement project. This aircraft variant, known as FA-50 Block 10, will have enhanced air-to-ground capabilities, among other improvements.


KAI to develop an improved variant of the FA 50 Golden Eagle KAI final assembly facility in South Korea, with FA-50s in build (Picture source : Chen Chuanren)


This FA-50 Block 10 is expected to be equipped with the Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pod which would allow the aircraft to self-designate and deploy laser-guided ammunition.

No physical transformation is be done on the aircraft, only but software upgrades are to be performed. These improvements may even be integrated on the FA-50 already in service in KAI's client fleets (Pilippines, Indonesia, Thailand, ...).

This development has been decided after talks between KAI and one of its clients, a client apparently ready to purchase some FA-50 jets more, but with some air-to-ground capabilities enhancements. Moreover, with this upgraded version, KAI estimates that the Southeast Asian market could have an appetite for 60 more Golden Eagles, including options.

In addition to this FA-50 Block 10, KAI may be working on a FA-50 Block 20, giving the aircraft the ability to conduct beyond-visual-range air-to-air missions.