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Military all set for FA-50 fighter depot maintenance

South Korea said Thursday it has completed a yearslong project to acquire the depot maintenance capability for the nation's advanced FA-50 light combat fighter jet.

It will enable the military to save around 450 billion won ($390 million) in costs for the operation and maintenance of the fleet over the next 30 years, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

A FA-50 light combat jet conducts a bombing exercise in this photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap)
A FA-50 light combat jet conducts a bombing exercise in this photo provided by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration. (Yonhap)

It will also cut maintenance time for an improvement of the aircraft's operation in both wartime and peacetime, it added.

The FA-50 is a light combat version of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, a local defense firm, in partnership with Lockheed Martin.

FA-50s were delivered to South Korea's Air Force in December 2016. DAPA signed a separate contract in 2013 with KAI for the project on depot maintenance.

It means the Air Force will be able to perform maintenance works requiring major overhauls or the complete rebuilding of core parts, DAPA said. (Yonhap)

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