Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA July-August 2017 Contents award a contract in December this year with initial
operational capability in 2024.
KAI has a couple of other trainers in service with
the ROKAF. South Korea’s first indigenous aircraft,
the KT-1 Woongbi is powered by a single PT6A-62
engine delivering 950 hp and giving a top speed
of 648 km/h. Although primarily a trainer, the KT-1
can be configured for light attack missions and
designated KA-1. In this guise it is fitted with HMP
12.7mm gun pods, bombs and LAU-131 70mm
rockets on five hard points.
In addition to the ROKAF, which received 85 KT-1s
and 20 KA-1s between 2000 and 2002, the type has
been ordered by Indonesia (17 KT-1Bs) and three
other countries (64 aircraft). KAI is currently marketing
the KT-1C with FLIR pod and improved avionics.
KAI has also developed the KT-100 basic trainer,
derived from the KC-100 Naraon four-seat light
aircraft and powered by a Continental piston engine.
First flight of the military version was in October 2015
and deliveries of some 20 aircraft to the ROKAF
began in May 2016, replacing Ilyushin Il-103s. Pilot
training is scheduled for this year, when the ROKAF
will use an all-KAI training fleet.
In contrast to the South, North Korea’s largely
antiquated air force flies mostly obsolete trainers,
including 30 Shengyan FT-2 and 135 Shenyang FT-5
jets, as well as dozens of Nanchang CJ-6 and Yak-
18A/CJ-5 piston trainers. In 2015 images emerged
of North Korea manufacturing what appears to be
a Cessna 172/182 clone, and this may be used for
training and other duties.
As mentioned, Indonesia received 12 T-50s and
four TA-50s for US $400 million, and 17 KT-1Bs
from 2003, which replaced its AS-202s, SF-260Ws
and T-34Cs. The Navy has received Beech G36
Bonanzas for training. The country was also the
first Asian customer for Embraer’s Super Tucano
(in service with 16 countries), with the first arriving
in Indonesia in September 2012. Deliveries of 16
aircraft concluded in February 2016. They are used
for training and attack duties. The Super Tucano is
a versatile aircraft, and is relatively unique amongst
trainers in that it has 12.7mm machine guns built into
the wings (it can also carry air-to-air and air-to-ground
missiles and a sensor turret).
Indonesia was also the launch customer for the
Grob G 120TP, receiving 18 between 2013 and
2014 to replace its AS/SA-202 Bravos and T-34s in
a US $72 million deal. Grob has found over a dozen
customers around the world for the G 120TP, which
has proved to be popular due to its high performance,
low acquisition and operating costs and extensive
training potential – Grob claim it can provide
elementary, basic and advanced pilot training in one
package thanks to advanced avionics and a modern
The second regional G 120TP customer is Myanmar,
which received 20 - as well as flight training devices
- from Germany between July 2015 and August
2016, equipped with full glass cockpits, in line with
Myanmar’s air force modernisation drive, which has
also seen the delivery of transports and helicopters.
This includes Bell 206 Jet Ranger IIIs for pilot training.
The Grobs replace Myanmar’s CJ-6s.
Myanmar operates an eclectic mix of trainers,
including a dozen PC-7s, modified for ground attack,
ten PC-9s and around 60 K-8s, with these types also
being used for counter-insurgency missions. The
latest addition to the trainer stable is the Yak-130,
which was ordered in June 2015. First batches were
delivered in late 2016 and continue through to 2018.
It is not clear how many Myanmar has ordered, but
the initial batch comprised three.
Originally a joint venture between Yakovlev and
Aermacchi, the Yak-130, in service with the Russian
air force and several export customers, was designed
to provide basic and advanced pilot training for
Russian and foreign-made combat aircraft, including
4th+ and 5th generation fighters. The aircraft is fitted
with an advanced glass cockpit and can carry 3000
kg of weaponry.
The Vietnam People’s Air Force has also reported
interest in the Yak-130, and possibly the Aero
Vodochody L-39NG from the Czech Republic,
which would replace its two dozen L-39s currently
in service. The South East Asian nation also flies the
Yak-52 piston engine trainer – 22 were acquired in
two batches in the 1990s and 2000s.
Bangladesh is another Asian customer for the Yak-
130, ordering the type in late 2013 under a US $1
billion line of credit from Russia. Deliveries of 16
aircraft took place between September 2015 and
mid-2016. They joined the Bangladesh Air Force’s
half dozen L-39ZAs, nine K-9Ws and dozen Cessna
T-37Bs. Basic training is undertaken on the PT-6 and
in 2015 Bangladesh ordered 11 BT-6/PT-6 trainers
from China, with deliveries from 2016. The CJ-6/PT-6,
powered by a 285 horsepower radial engine, is an
enormously popular trainer, with more than 2000 built
In 2006 Singapore became the launch export
customer for the Pilatus PC-21, now in service with
The country was also the first Asian customer for Embraer’s Super
Tucano (in service with 16 countries), with the first arriving in Indonesia in
DefenceReviewAsia | JULY/AUG 2017 11
Indian Air Force PC-7 (Pilatus photo)
22/06/2017 1:11 PM
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