Malaysia Prefers Korean TA-50 over TUSAŞ’s Hürjet
Korean Yonhap news agency reported that KAI signed a deal with the Defence Ministry for 18 FA-50 light attack aircraft. India’s Tejas, Pakistan’s JF-17, Russia’s MIG-35 and Turkiye’s Hürjet lost the tender.KAI has sold 68 KT-1 basic and T-50 advanced trainer jets, as well as FA-50 aircraft, to Southeast Asian markets with this latest transaction.Malaysia is looking to improve its air combat and training capabilities to replace its fleet of BAE Systems-made Hawk trainers and light combat aircraft, which has seen high attrition in recent years.The country also intends to replace 16 MiG-29 interceptors that were retired in 2017 due to insufficient funding for maintenance. However, a planned multirole combat aircraft programme to replace the aircraft has also been halted due to budget constraints.Malaysia previously stated that it required 36 jets, implying it will continue to seek an additional 18 aircraft.The FA-50 is a combat-capable derivative of the T-50 Golden Eagle trainer, and its victory in Malaysia brings the total number of Southeast Asian countries that fly the T-50 and its derivatives to four. The aircraft is also used in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Due to corruption, the Malaysian Defence Ministry (Kementah) cancelled five supply, services and infrastructure contracts. There are claims that corruption is wider.