South Korea is working on an F-50 fighter for export to replace the Su and MiG

The South Korean defense company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has set itself the goal of capturing at least 50% of the entire world market of single-seat light combat aircraft with its development under the F-50 index. It will essentially be a minor modification of the combat training FA-50, which has already had export success.

It is assumed that direct work on this aircraft will start in 2024, completion of development is planned for 2028, and KAI plans to sell a total of 300 promising F-50s.

South Korea is working on an F-50 fighter for export to replace the Su and MiG
Rendering of the promising F-50, source – Kim Minseok

At the moment, it is assumed that the single-seat fighter F-50 will have a completely identical appearance to the FA-50. But instead of a seat for the second pilot, the plane will receive an additional fuel tank, and the installation of a refueling rod is also planned.

South Korea’s Ministry of Defense has shown no interest in the F-50, preferring to focus resources on the KF-21 fifth-generation fighter program. Therefore, KAI expects to sell the F-50 for export and hopes that the first buyer of this aircraft will be Malaysia, which has already bought the FA-50 and is looking for a replacement for its Su-30.

In general, the South Korean KAI plans to sell its F-50 precisely to those countries that are looking for a replacement for their Soviet-style MiG and Su aircraft or to countries that still operate the Western F-5 and A-4.