Egypt is nearing a deal with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to buy FA-50 “Golden Eagle” light combat and advanced training aircraft, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports. The parties are discussing how many aircraft would be included.

The potential contract includes technology transfer so Egypt can manufacture the Korean aircraft at the Helwan factory, which is part of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI). The two sides signed a cooperation agreement in late 2022 for local production of the FA-50 and its T-50 training variant.

The Arab Organization for Industrialization says the partnership aims to fulfil the Egyptian military’s needs and also allows for export to African and Arab countries. The cooperation will include knowledge exchange, training, and updating manufacturing systems.

KAI’s chairman confirmed the Egypt negotiations last year, saying Egypt is likely to choose the company’s bid for its tender. Egypt could initially buy 36 aircraft, with the potential to expand the fleet to 100.

“If the Egyptian choice falls on the Golden Eagle aircraft, we will build a profitable relationship for both sides by advancing the Egyptian aviation industry and continuing to enhance strategic partnerships with Africa and the Middle East,” a KAI official said in December.

KAI hopes to help Egypt become a regional centre for manufacturing, exporting, and servicing “Golden Eagle” aircraft in Africa and the Middle East. The company also wants to work with Egypt to boost its aviation research and development capacity.

Korea Aerospace Industries has announced that it will take part in the inaugural Egypt International Air Show EIAS-2024, planned for September at Alamein International Airport.

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