Malaysia is expected to receive its first batch of KAI FA-50 LCA in 2026. (Korea Aerospace Industries)
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has announced a USD920 million deal with Malaysia's Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) to supply 18 FA-50 light combat aircraft (LCA).
The announcement, which was made on 24 February, comprises an improved variant of the FA-50 aircraft.
Janes previously reported that this is the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft. According to KAI, the aircraft will have an “aerial refuelling function and armed expansion, in line with customer demands”. The Block 20 can also integrate the Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), 500 lb GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs, and the AGM-65 Maverick missile. The aircraft also has a Link 16 Block 2 upgrade.
The company said that the initial delivery is scheduled to take place in 2026.
The acquisition of the FA-50 is for Malaysia's Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) programme. The project will acquire the initial batch of 18 LCA as part of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF's) Capability Development 2055 plan. According to KAI, Malaysia “is planning to introduce another 18 units of the same model as the FA-50, so the volume is expected to expand to up to 36”.
The deal follows months of negotiations between theMINDEF and several international bidders since the FLIT tender was first announced in July 2021.