Colombia appears to have selected KAI T-50 advanced trainer-light combat aircraft

Colombia selects KAI T50
ROKAF FA-50 light combat aircraft armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

The Colombian government appears to have selected the Korean Aerospace Industries-KAI T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft to replace the Colombian Air Force's old Cessna A-37B Dragonfly fleet, according to Infodefensa.

The Colombian Air Force is expected to introduce at least 20 Golden Eagles in the TA-50 advanced trainer and FA-50 light combat variant as part of a $ 600 million project.

Colombia had previously expressed its preference for the Leonardo M-346 jet which seems to have not yet been excluded from the competition. The inclusion of a competitor could be a move to negotiate a better deal with KAI.

The new aircraft will fill the gap left by the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly twin-engine light attack jet, which was retired in June 2021. The TA/FA-50 Golden Eagle will be used in counter-insurgency missions and as a tactical trainer.

The South Korean aircraft is also expected to temporarily fill the role of the Kfir frontline fighter which will be withdrawn from service in 2023. It is very likely that the nation will not introduce a replacement for the Kfir in the short term.

Colombia and South Korea have good military relations. In 2012, the Colombian Navy acquired a number of South Korean SSM-700K anti-ship missiles for deployment on four German-made Padilla Class frigates. Previously, in 2014 and 2020, the South Korean Navy donated two second-hand corvettes to its Colombian counterpart.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: ROKAF

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