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Indonesia plumps for KAI's T-50 trainer?

Brazil may delay Russian chopper order
Moscow (UPI) Apr 14, 2011 - A Russian helicopter deal with Brazil may be affected by budget cuts just as Russia is trying to expand its presence in the growing Latin American arms market. Brazil's Defense Ministry will decide by the end of this month whether the cuts it plans to make to its defense budget will affect an order for 12 Russian Mil Mi-35M combat transport helicopters, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports. "This year's ministry plan stipulates that the contract on the supply of Russian Mi-35M helicopters should be fulfilled, and we cannot say now which of the projects may be affected by the cuts," it quotes an unnamed source from the Brazilian Defense Ministry as saying.

In a bid to cut costs, the Brazilian government has said it plans to slash its defense budget by around $2.6 billion, or nearly 30 percent, to a total of $7 billion. This could affect the second batch of the delivery of the Mi-35M helicopters, a new export version of the popular Soviet-made Mi-24 Hind. Six gunships have already been delivered, with the remainder due to be supplied during the course of this year. Brazil may very well delay those deliveries, observers say. Another deal could go through.

Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said this week it was in talks with Brazil on jointly producing armored vehicles. This comes as Rosoboronexport is trying to gain an even stronger foothold in the Latin American arms market, which has seen strong growth in recent years. Money spent on defense in Latin America last year increased 5.8 percent to $63.3 billion on the region's economic boom, the geopolitical rise of Brazil and internal security threats in some states, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an arms trade watchdog, said in a study released this week.

Apart from its deals with Brazil, Russia has sold weapons to Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador and Venezuela, funding the latter country's imports with attractive loans. Russia sold around $10 billion worth of arms in 2010, media outlets have reported, making it the world's second-largest weapons exporter behind the United States. Russian-made tanks, air defense systems, helicopters and fighter jets are among the best-sold products -- albeit mainly to developing and emerging countries, which value the Russian price-performance ratio.
by Staff Writers
Seoul (UPI) Apr 12, 2011
Korea Aerospace Industries appears to have beaten international rivals for an export order -- the first -- of its T-50 Golden Eagle fighter trainers to Indonesia.

KAI received a letter from the Indonesian government confirming that it had been chosen as preferred bidder for the advanced fighter trainer contract, an industry source told media outlets.

The next step is for up to four months of contract and price negotiations with KAI which likely will include some production of the aircraft in Indonesia, the source said.

Other bidders for the deal are the Aero Vodochody L-159 and Yakovlev Yak-130.

The T-50s will replace Indonesia's 38 aging BAE Systems Hawk 53 trainers. More than 900 were made, first by Hawker Siddeley between 1974 and 1977, then British Aerospace from 1977 to 1999 before BAE Systems MAS division bought the business.

However, other reports said Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration hadn't received any notification from Indonesia regarding the purchase. "We did not hear from Indonesia," a DAPA official said. "We hope that Indonesia would pick us as a preferred negotiator for the deal."

If the deal goes ahead, it will be an abrupt and welcome reversal of fortune for KAI and the DAPA. In February they suffered a major public relations setback over the bid to Indonesia.

South Korea is investigating possible industrial espionage after a notification by the Indonesian government that intruders were discovered in its delegate's Seoul hotel room.

Indonesia suspected that several officers from South Korea's National Intelligence Service broke into their suite in the Lotte Hotel.

Two men and one woman were accused of looking at a delegate's laptop computer and downloading information to a USB memory stick when they were disturbed by a returning delegate.

Some South Korean media reported that the computer belonged to an aide of Indonesian Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa. The information the three people were attempting to access surrounded the potential sale of the T-50.

The two-seater T-50 is built by KAI from an early 1990s design, based on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the trainer developed for future pilots of the F-16, which is used by South Korea.

The T-50 uses a General Electric F404 turbofan engine producing 17,700 pounds of thrust for a maximum speed of Mach 1.4 to 48,000 feet altitude. The range is around 1,150 miles.

Importantly, its training systems are designed to enable a smooth transition to more advanced fighters including the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon -- of which Indonesia has 10 and also which may be due for upgrades.

KAI also produces the TA-50 light armed fighter and the T-50B, aerobatic performance aircraft.

Lockheed Martin funded 13 percent of the aircraft's development, KAI put in 17 percent and the South Korean government financed the rest.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems and KAI created the T-50 International Company, known as TFIC, to pursue export markets outside South Korea.

In November Indonesia decided to buy eight Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack aircraft to replace its Vietnam War-era Rockwell OV-10 Broncos.

In January, the Indonesian air force awarded Arinc Engineering Services a $66.7 million contract to modernize five of its Lockheed Martin C-130B transports.

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Elbit And IAI Establish Joint Company
Haifa, Israel (SPX) Mar 21, 2011
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