The International Test Pilots School (ITPS) Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to promote the FA-50 light combat aircraft for tactical and adversary training.
ITPS Canada announced the agreement with KAI on November 3, adding that the FA-50 is the ideal replacement for its ageing Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros fleet. The test pilots school operates five L-39s with upgraded avionics in a fighter lead-in training (FLIT) role from its International Tactical Training Center (ITTC) in London, Ontario. At present, ITPS Canada is providing FLIT services to the Royal Malaysian Air Force at the ITTC.
Giorgio Clementi, president of ITPS Canada, said: “The KAI FA-50 is a great aircraft! The aircraft’s performance, flying qualities and mission capabilities make it the ideal platform for tactical and adversary training missions and a great fit for ITPS to replace our L-39 fleet.
“A new aircraft supported by the manufacturer and with the associated engineering and logistical support ensures reliable and cost-effective operations into the future. The FA-50 is a winner, and we are delighted to be collaborating with KAI!”
ITPS Canada has provided tactical training services since 2001. Its ITTC is the only commercial entity that offers advanced fighter pilot training, such as Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, Advanced Tactics Courses and Mission Commander courses to international customers.
The FA-50 is the light combat variant of KAI’s T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer family. As of November 6, the platform was in operational service with three nations: South Korea, Iraq and the Philippines. The Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) operates 57 FA-50s, the Iraqi Air Force employs 24 FA-50IQs and the Philippine Air Force has 12 FA-50PHs in operational service.