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S. Korea, Spain to negotiate aircraft swap contract

Diplomacy 10:14 November 12, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Spain will discuss a proposed aircraft swap in their joint committee meeting on defense industry cooperation in Madrid this week, an informed source said Monday.

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.

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), the source said.

A photo of A-400M cargo plane, posted on the Airbus website. (Yonhap)

Spain delivered the proposal to DAPA officials during the Farnborough International Airshow in Britain in July.

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.

South Korea has a fleet of C-130 Hercules cargo planes, each of which can carry the maximum load of 74,393 kilograms. The A-400M can accommodate 141,000kg.

A file photo of a T-50 advanced trainer jet (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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