Subscribe Free
in Defence / Features

T-50 Golden Eagles find new roost

Posted 18 June 2019 · Add Comment

The third batch of six Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50IQ lead-in fighter trainers have been delivered to Iraq, writes Jon Lake.

They arrived by sea in late October 201, and were then trucked to Al Basra/al Shaiba Airbase, where they were reassembled and flight-tested.
Here they briefly joined 12 earlier aircraft that had been delivered to No 204 Training Squadron. This unit was re-numbered from 4 Squadron during March 2011, and was initially expected to be based at Tikrit/Al Sahra, but the first 12 T-50IQs were concentrated at Al Basra by late 2017, reporting to the Iraqi Air Force College.
The newer deliveries were soon noted at Martyr Mohamed Alaa Airbase – the military enclave of Baghdad International Airport – where they may have formed a second T-50 squadron, possibly with a limited frontline light attack commitment.
Iraq originally began negotiating the acquisition of T-50 trainers in February 2009, and signed a contract for 24 T-50IQ aircraft plus additional equipment and a 20-year support and pilot training package in December 2013.
The Iraqi T-50IQ was based on the FA-50 light attack version, and was fitted with wingtip missile launch rails and an internal gun – a three-barreled version of the M61A1 20mm Vulcan cannon, as well as underwing hardpoints to carry a range of air-to-ground weapons.
Deliveries were originally scheduled to begin in April 2016, and to be completed within 12 months.
In the event, Iraq received the first of 36 Lockheed Martin F-16IQ fighters in 2014, and a batch of 10 single seat L-159As and two L-159T1 trainers from November 2015. The latter were used as interim light ground attack aircraft.
This meant that the T-50IQ was not so urgently required for operational missions, while the civil war/insurgency made it more difficult to undertake flying training within Iraq. This was, in part, due to the so-called Camp Speicher massacre at Tikrit, (during which Daesh executed 1,566 unarmed Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets as they attempted to flee to safety) and T-50 deliveries were delayed.
The first batch of T-50IQs were delivered in March 2017, and the second batch followed in May 2018.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Industry leaders to address recovery of aviation at Global Aerospace Summit

The Global Aerospace Summit 2020 commences this week in a virtual format on 28 and 29 September, where industry leaders from across the globe will convene online to address the aviation, aerospace, space and defence sectors biggest

EgyptAir resumes more flight destinations

EgyptAir will resume services from Cairo to Muscat, Amman, Kigali, Johannesburg, and Entebbe.

Qatar Airways offers 100 days of free high-speed broadband connectivity

Qatar Airways is now offering 100 days of free on-board Super Wi-Fi connectivity to all passengers, in celebration of the airline equipping more than 100 of its state-of-the-art aircraft with high-speed broadband.

Emirates continues Beirut relief efforts

More than a month after the Beirut blasts left behind devastated communities, Emirates continues offer its support recovery efforts on the ground and help those affected rebuild their lives.

Bell presents Turkish National Police with award

Bell Textron has announced the Turkish National Police were presented an award for “Outstanding Operational Readiness.” The force operates 14 Bell 429s for its safety and security missions. The fleet’s operational readiness is above

IATA and UNOCT sign MoU for countering terrorist travel programme

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) have signed MoU to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme (CT Travel

GAS_SK2805200920
See us at
World Defence Show 2022MEBAA Show 2021 BTManama Air Power Symposium 2020Saudi International Airshow 2021Global Aerospace Summit 2020Aviation MENA 2021