AirAsia PacificBusiness

KAI to Develop Single-Seat FA-50, Autonomous Aircraft 

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will develop an autonomous aerial vehicle and a single-seat version of the FA-50 fighter jet to enhance its market share.

The projects will cost a total of 90.9 billion Korean won ($68.8 million): 55.3 billion won ($42 million) for the autonomous jet and 35.6 billion won ($27 million) for the FA-50, The Korea Economic Daily said.

“We have paved the way for future businesses with the key sector’s successes such as record sales last year,” the outlet quoted KAI CEO Kang Goo-young as saying.

“We aim to increase investments in future businesses to dominate the future aerospace industry.”

KAI announced record sales of 3.8 trillion won ($2.89 billion) last year, an annual increase of 37 percent, thanks largely to the export of FA-50 to Poland.

Warsaw signed a $13.7-billion contract with KAI in September 2022 for the delivery of 48 FA-50s. 

Autonomous Aerial Vehicle

The $42 million set aside for the autonomous platform will cover the aircraft’s first phase of development from 2024-2025.

This includes basic and detailed design and demonstration of key technologies such as distributed electric propulsion and flight control.

The second phase will see prototype manufacturing and flight tests by 2028.

“KAI aims to secure approval from South Korea and the US Federal Aviation Administration by 2031 to commercialize the [autonomous aerial vehicle],” The Korea Economic Daily wrote, adding that the aircraft’s overall development is expected to cost 150 billion won ($114 million).

Single Seat FA-50

Requested by the aircraft’s customers, the single-seat version is expected to enhance its combat potential, including air-to-air and air-to-ground strikes, The Korea Economic Daily wrote.

A total of 138 aircraft have been exported to customers including Thailand, Malaysia, and Poland.

The company plans to capture 50 percent of the global single-seat aircraft market share, aiming to sell 300 units.

Related Articles

Back to top button