Thailand's air force on Wednesday commissioned the first batch of South Korea-built T-50 Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers into service.
Four T-50TH supersonic advanced trainers of 401st Squadron was inducted into the RTAF during the commissioning ceremony on 4 April at an airbase in Nakhon Sawan, in a commissioning ceremony presided over by RTAF Commander Air Chief Marshal Johm Rungswang, Defence Blog reports.
The T-50 Golden Eagle is an advanced jet trainer developed and manufactured by South Korea's sole aircraft manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), powered by one General Electric F404 afterburning turbofan and featuring a maximum speed of Mach 1.5 and a service ceiling of 14,000 m.
KAI received two separate orders from Thailand to build four T-50TH trainer jets worth $110 million in September 2015 and eight T-50TH jets valued at $260 million in July last year.
The T-50TH developed to train and prepare pilots for the F-16 and JAS-39, replacing trainers such as L-39s in service with the RTAF.