T-50 Golden Eagle

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(GNU) Photo: Sergey Ryabtsev
The T-50 Golden Eagle at the Dubai airshow.

The T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of supersonic advanced trainers and multirole fighters jointly developed by Korea Aerospace Industries with Lockheed Martin beginning in the late 90s. The T-50 is South Korea's first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world's few supersonic trainers. It took its maiden flight in 2002 and entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force in 2005.

The T-50 trainer was further developed into aerobatic and combat variants, namely T-50B, TA-50, and FA-50. Ten T-50B are in the South Korean air force's aerobatics team. In 2011, the first squadron of TA-50, T-50's light attack variant, became operational. The maiden flight of FA-50, T-50's multirole fighter variant comparable to KF-16, also took place in 2011.

As of 2011, sixteen TA-50 light attack variants of the family has been exported to Indonesia, and additional export orders are being pursued in countries such as Israel, Poland, the Philippines, and Iraq. T-50 is also being marketed as a candidate for the T-X program of the United States as the United States Air Force's next-generation advanced trainer. The T-50 was once the proposed base for the F-50 next-generation indigenous fighter, prior to the launching of the KAI KF-X program