Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – The second batch of the T-50 jet fighters arrived Wednesday in Iraq coming from South Korea to help in the fight against Islamic State (IS) remnants, a security source was quoted as saying.
In statements to Alghad Press, the source said that today’s two-jet batch “arrived at Martyr Mohammed Alaa airbase in Baghdad International Airport, thus bringing the total number of jets imported from Seoul to four out of 24.”
Spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry Tahseen al-Khafaji had announced in a Tuesday statement that the remaining “T-50 jet fighters will arrive in batches soon in Baghdad as part of the deal.”
Khafaji noted that “a team of Iraqi pilots received training in South Korea and they are ready now to operate the T-50.”
Last year, Iraq said it will receive 24 T-50 (Golden Eagle) fighter jets from South Korea as part of an agreement signed in 2013.
The order, including training, was valued at $1.1 billion, but the manufacturing Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said supporting the aircraft over 20 years will take total revenue beyond $2 billion.
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced trainers and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers
Iraqi air forces, assisted by jets from a US-led international coalition, have been actively bombarding Islamic State militants’ locations in several Iraqi provinces as part of a major operation that seeks to completely eliminate the group after Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced in December the full liberation of Iraqi lands.