The deal to supply FA-50 aircraft also includes training for Iraqi
pilots and other support for the Iraqi Air Force for the next two
decades, which could push the total value of the deal to $2 billion,
the contractor said in a statement.
The FA-50 is a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle
supersonic trainer that was co-developed by KAI and U.S. defense
firm Lockheed Martin Corp.
The Iraqi version of the FA-50, labeled the T-50 IQ, can be armed
with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, machine guns and
precision-guided bombs along with other munitions, KAI said.
"This deal will improve the performance of the Ministries of Defense
and Interior in defending the country and in fighting terrorism," a
statement from the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
Iraq has sought F-16 fighter jets from the United States as part of
a deal to rebuild its airforce.
Iraq is suffering from its worst violence in at least five years as
insurgents carry out almost daily bombing campaigns against
civilians and government targets.
More than 8,000 people have been killed in Iraq in the first 11
months of 2013, according to the United Nations.
[to top of second column]
KAI has previously exported a T-50 variant to Indonesia and is
pursuing deals with the Philippines and Chile.
South Korea has been to capture a larger share of the global defense
market with its fighter jets amid a projected sharp increase in
demand for military equipment over the next decade.
Delivery to Iraq will begin in April 2016 and will be made over a
year, a company official said.
(Reporting by Michelle Kim in Seoul; additional reporting by Suadad
al-Salhy in Baghdad; editing by Catherine Evans)
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