The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) commissioned four Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50TH Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers (LIFT) in a ceremony held on 4 April at Tarkly Air Base, according to a statement by KAI.
The aircraft are the first four of 12 armed T-50THs ordered by the service from 2015 in two batches of four and eight, with delivery of the second batch expected to begin in late 2019. The platforms are set to replace the RTAF’s ageing Aero L-39ZA Albatros jet trainers in roles including lead-in fighter training, combat search and rescue, escort, and light attack. The RTAF has plans to acquire an additional four T-50TH aircraft.
The T-50THs are fitted with elements of armed capability found on the FA-50 combat aircraft version, according to Jane's World Air Forces. KAI officials have told Jane's that the aircraft will be "close to the specifications of the FA-50 but missing some capability elements", such as Link 16 tactical datalinks.
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