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LIMA 2023: KAI says Malaysia keen to order 18 additional FA-50s

Malaysia's KAI FA-50 Block 20 aircraft will have the ability to integrate a 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. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said that Malaysia's order of 18 FA-50 light combat aircraft will be followed by a second order of an additional 18 aircraft.

Speaking to Janes at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 in Malaysia, a KAI spokesperson said the Malaysian government has approved the acquisition of a second batch of FA-50s.

“It is only a matter of time before the second contract is formalised,” the spokesperson added.

This announcement follows KAI's 24 February announcement of a USD920 million deal with Malaysia's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to supply an initial batch of 18 FA-50 LCA.s

The spokesperson told Janes during LIMA, that KAI is preparing to deliver the first FA-50 for Malaysia 42 months after the signing of the contract. “The remaining aircraft of this first order will be delivered within 10 subsequent months,” the spokesperson said.

Janes earlier reported that Malaysia is to receive an unspecified number of FA-50 Block 20 aircraft. KAI told Janes that the delivered aircraft will be equipped with the Raytheon PhantomStrike advanced fire-control radar.

This was followed by a Raytheon statement on 15 May, which stated that the radar will be exported to KAI as a “Direct Commercial Sales product”. Raytheon described the PhantomStrike as a “fully air-cooled fire-control radar designed to provide long-range threat detection, tracking, and targeting”.

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