Our Bureau
08:03 AM, November 13, 2018
South Korea to Negotiate Aircraft Swap Deal with Spain
Airbus A400M military transport aircraft

South Korea plans to sign a military aircraft swap deal with Spain during their joint committee meeting on defense industry cooperation in Madrid later this week.

Under the plan, Korea is expected to sell 30 KT-1 basic trainer jets and 20 T-50 advanced trainer jets, manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), to Spain, Korea Times reported Tuesday.

Spain also reportedly plans to sell four to six A400M Airbus transport planes to Korea as part of the aircraft exchange deal. The deal is estimated to be worth 2 trillion won ($1.77 billion).

The two sides are to open a two-day working-level session later in the day, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), Seoul's arms procurement agency, Yonhap news agency reported.

Among agenda items is Spain's offer to trade its Airbus A400M Atlas airlifters with T-50 Golden Eagle and KT-1 Woongbi trainer jets produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), an unnamed source was quoted by the agency as saying Monday.

Spain has a contract to purchase 27 A400M large cargo planes, with the first 14 aircraft to be delivered by 2022. The rest will be delivered from 2025 but it's seeking to sell them.

Spain wants to hand over four to six of them to South Korea in exchange for around 20 T-50s and 30 KT-1s, the source added.

If an agreement is reached, it would mark South Korea's maiden export of its aircraft to a European country. It would also provide much-needed relief to KAI, which recently suffered a defeat in a U.S. Air Force trainer jet bid.

DAPA is in a position that the possible aircraft exchange contract is a win-win deal for both sides and it will welcome the reported contract if Spain delivers an official proposal.

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