Korea will be represented for the first time at the Dubai air show this year when Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), Korea’s national aerospace and defence company, takes part in Dubai 2005, the ninth international aerospace exhibition.
And KAI says that at the show, which will be held at the Airport Expo Dubai from November 20-24, it will stage the international debut of its T-50 advanced trainer/fighter-lead-in-trainer – the ‘Golden Eagle.’
“This aircraft was designed specifically to train pilots to fly the fourth and fifth generational fighters,” said KAI Marketing Director, Alex Wanki Jun. “The design traits of T-50 would be especially suited for training pilots for over 20 air forces currently flying the F-16, including some in the Middle East, so Dubai 2005 is the ideal event for us to showcase our products to regional and international government and air force officials visiting the show.”
The T-50 was developed jointly by KAI and Lockheed Martin and the company currently has orders for close to 100 ‘Golden Eagle’ trainers from the Republic of Korea Air Force.
Korea’s entry into the market comes as analysts put defence and security spending within the six Gulf Co-operation Council states as among the highest in the world estimating that GCC defence spending has topped US $277 billion since 1997. In 2003 alone GCC defence spending was US $25.38 billion representing 12.7% of the region’s combined GDP – the highest ratio in the world.
“High equipment upgrade expectations from the region have attracted major defence and security players from 11 countries to the Dubai 2005 line-up,” explained Clive Richardson, CEO, Aerospace Division, Fairs & Exhibitions (F&E), which organises the Dubai air show. “This includes mainline players such as BAE Systems, Thales, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, United Technologies and Northrop Grumman.”
Currently exhibitors from 35 countries have confirmed participation in Dubai 2005, which also has commitments for 13 national and industry pavilions.
Dubai 2005 is organised by F&E in conjunction with the Department of Civil Aviation, Government of Dubai and in collaboration with the UAE Armed Forces.