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 [EN] T/A-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq?

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MesajSubiect: [EN] T/A-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq?   Mar 20 Ian 2009, 17:37

[EN] T/A-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq?

Sursa: Defence Industry Daily
Autor: ***
Data: 19.01.2009



Citat :
Iraq may be on track to become the first export customer for South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle family of supersonic jet trainers and lightweight fighters.

On Jan 15/09, Yonhap news agency and the World Tribune both filed reports concerning Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi’s ongoing visit to South Korea. The minister was briefed concerning South Korea’s ongoing projects with Turkey, which include the K9/K10 Thunder mobile howitzer and the new XM2/Atlay main battle tank. Minister al-Obeidi also inspected the KAI/ Lockheed Martin T-50, and said that a defense expert in his entourage had recently test-flown the jet in Korea and expressed satisfaction. The Yonhap News Agency translation quotes him as saying that “The T-50 proved to us that South Korea has modern technology of an international standard.” Al-Obeidi added that more review would be required before the T-50 could be added to Iraq’s air force.

DJ Elliott of the Long War Journal says that the A-50 was suggested in fall 2007 to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, by MNSTC-I’s Coalition Air Force Transition Team. Iraq’s pending trainer aircraft purchase appears to be Hawker Beechcraft’s T-6 Texan II, but a jet trainer is required as an interim step between the T-6 and more advanced planes like the F-16s that Iraq is seeking. They could also serve as an F-16 supplement. T/A-50s with their APG-67v4 radars, advanced Sidewinder missiles, and ability to carry precision guided weapons would effectively offer Iraq its first jet fighters. A T/A-50 would have to depend on superior situational awareness and piloting if confronted by Syrian or Iranian MiG-29s, but their induction would give Iraq qualitative parity or better versus many of the fighters currently flown by its semi-hostile neighbors: Syria’s MiG-21/ MiG-23/ Su-22s, and Iran’s F-4E/ F-5 variants/ F-7 MiG-21 variants. In a volatile region where hayba counts, those kinds of perceptions matter.

So, too, do personal ties. South Korea sent a 3,600-strong contingent to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil in September 2004 as part of the U.S.-led coalition, and a total of 18,000 South Korean troops served in rotation around northern Iraq until the end of their deployment in 2008. That work was apparently valuable in establishing ties, and the countries are now discussing ways to broaden their economic relationship as well as their defense relationship.

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[EN] T/A-50 Golden Eagles for Iraq?
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