Made in Korea: Counterinsurgency Trainers for Peru
In November 2012, Peru signed a $200 million contract with South Korea for turboprop trainers and light attack aircraft. The deal involves 10 of its KT-1 trainers, which have also been exported to Turkey and Indonesia, and 10 KA-1 armed counterinsurgency variants. An ROK official is quoted as saying that KAI plane won on both price and operational efficiency, while acknowledging that convincing a Latin American country not to buy from Brazil was challenging. Korea Aerospace Industries will ship 4 of the planes from South Korea, with the rest being assembled from KAI kits in Peru.
KAI’s KT-1 reportedly beat Beechcraft’s A/T-6B (Mexico), Pilatus’ PC-9M, and Brazil’s popular EMB-134 Super Tucano (many Latin American countries). The same “value positioning” model, which made items like Korea’s Hyundai cars a success, is also at work for Korean offerings in the global defense sector. It’s time for competitors to take note, because that model is starting to rack up steady wins. Chosun Ilbo | YTN [in Korean].