Indonesia has provisionally selected the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle as a new jet trainer, and will buy 16, according to the Chosunilbo newspaper in Seoul. The paper said that Korea Aerospace Industries “slashed the price of the T-50 to less than $25 million per jet” to head off competition from the Russian Yak-130.
Last February, Korean intelligence agents were caught in a Seoul hotel room, examining laptop computers belonging to a visiting Indonesian government delegation. The two countries downplayed the incident.
Indonesia was also evaluating the Aermacchi M-346 and the Aero Vodochody L-159. Negotiations for a final contract will now commence, with deliveries to start in 2013. This would represent a first export sale of the T-50. The Indonesian air force currently operates BAE Hawk Mk53 jet trainers, which also have air-ground combat capability. The T-50 is also marketed as the A-50, and may therefore be acquired for attack as well as training roles.
Korea and Indonesia are developing closer economic ties, and the latter has been offered a role in the development of the proposed KF-X fighter. Indonesia previously bought KT-1 primary trainers from KAI, while 12 CN-235 transports went in the other direction.