South Korea’s Korea Space Industries (KAI) is reportedly offering indigenously-built FA-50, a light attack variant of the T-50 supersonic trainer, to the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for “affordable acquisition and low-operating cost” as compared to its European competitor.
As per secret document obtained by Sunday Standard daily titled “FA-50 for the Botswana Defence Force: The right choice for the future” dated May 2017 suggests KAI is wooing the BDF to give preference to FA-50 over other fighter jets manufactures especially Swedish Gripen fighter manufacturer Saab.
Apart from highlighting cost-effectiveness in the document, KAI mentioned other benefits like “proven weapon capability, efficient training pipeline and extensive training for indigenous operation...dedicates to Botswana Aerospace (Training Human Resource)”.
KAI also promises to provide BDF with “training Media analysis including visit to Republic of Korea Air Force Base and concept study for BDF.” The documents also inform BDF management that “FA-50 training is the right way for the Fighter pilot training” and that “FA-50 can perform both training and combat mission.” “FA-50 and enhanced will be the best solution to build up fleet with economic way,” the documents say.
According to the report, Botswana’s senior government officials – former Justice Defence and Security Minister Ramadeluka Seretse, his predecessor Shaw Kgathi and members of the BDF high command have had a string of to and fro meetings with the South Korean officials since 2013.
The document obtained KAI goes on explain the cost difference between the fighter jets.
Comparing their FA-50 T-50 to Swedish Gripen fighter jets, the South Koreans say the two fighter jets have same size, same engine similar performance but “competitor’s (Gripen) life cycle cost is estimated as three times to FA-50”, the report says.
Describing itself as a “trustworthy partner for the Botswana Defence Force,” KAI promises to provide BDF with instructional systems development (ISD) training not only for FA-50 but also for PC-7 and T-50 fighter jets.
Other countries like Brazil are also in the running for Botswana Defence Force (BDF) P 2 billion budget allocation.
Botswanas Police Service today signed for a contract for three new AS350 B3e Ecureuil Airbus Helicopters aircraft for its Police Air Support Branch. The new helicopters will be customised to the Botswana Police Services specification, including the installation of night vision equipment for night-time operations and other law enforcement equipment
With export orders from Philippines under its belt, the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) is looking to expand its sales in Africa and South America. South Korea will provide the Philippines with 12 FA-50 fighter jets worth $415
Defense Minister Song Young-moo discussed defence cooperation and equipment sales with Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Lebanon where South Korean troops are based during his visit last week. Song met with Oman Defense Minister Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busaidi in Muscat on Saturday where South Korea's Cheonghae Unit, deployed in the Gulf of Aden to counter pirates, is based
US intelligence agents have reached South Korea to collect North Korea related information. The information gathering mission includes a review, and possibly an update of emergency evacuation plans for over 200000 Americans residing in South Korea,
South Korea and the US plan to deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, strategic bombers and Taurus guided missiles mounted on F-15K fighter jets in Seoul as a response to North Korean latest nuclear test. The South Korean National Assemblys defense committee in its report state that its military will stage a unilateral live-fire drill involving Taurus air-to-surface guided missiles mounted on F-15K fighter jets this month, Seouls defense ministry was quoted as saying by Yonhap Monday
South Korea will create a task force on military reform by early next month. The move comes days after President Moon Jae-in ordered measures to streamline the armed forces in order to root out corruption related to arms development and purchases, Yonhap reported Wednesday
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