RoKAF to acquire indigenous trainer

A FLEET of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KC-100 Naraon light aircraft is set to be purchased by the Republic of Korea Air Force.  They will replace the Ilyushin Il-103 in the primary flight training role.

Korean Aerospace Industries announced on May 8 that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) to supply a fleet of new KC-100 Naraon light aircraft.  The new aircraft will replace the 22 Ilysuhin Il-103s flying from the Air Force Academy’s 212th Flying Training Squadron at Seongmu Air Base.

KAI hopes to sign a formal contract for the purchase before the end of 2014 and deliver all of the aircraft by 2016.  The contract value or number of KC-100s likely to be acquired has not yet been finalised, but will undoubtedly be similar number to the number of Il-103s currently in service.

The first of two KC-100 flight test prototypes made its maiden flight on July 20, 2011.  Two structural prototypes and one production prototype have also been built.  Development and testing was completed last year.  The four-seat aircraft is powered by a single 315hp (235kW) Teledyne Continental Motors TSIOF-550-K piston engine.

KAI notes that once the KC-100 is in ROKAF service, all training will be undertaken using indigenous aircraft.  In addition to the KC-100, students will fly two other KAI products, the KT-1 basic trainer and T-50/TA-50 supersonic jet trainer, before moving on to front-line aircraft.   Alan Warnes