The KT-1 is the first completely indigenous Korean aircraft ever developed. On the Indonesian version, the main differences are in terms of avionics.
Korean defense products are gaining popularity in Southeast Asia. The KAI KT-1 Woongbi, a single-engined turboprop, basic training aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, has been exported to Indonesia since the early 2000s. And most recently, the Indonesian Air Force has received a new basic trainer, the KT-1B Wong Bee. This is an export version developed specifically for Indonesia.
The KT-1 is the first completely indigenous Korean aircraft ever developed. On the Indonesian version, the main differences are in terms of avionics, some of which have been excluded or have had commercial off-the-shelf alternatives used instead. The aircraft, with registration number LL-0119, arrived at Adisutjipto Air Base on 8 December after completing assembly at PT Dirgantara Indonesia’s facility in Bandung. The two additional KT-1B aircraft will be delivered next year.
The origins of the KT-1 can be found within the KTX programme, which had been launched during 1988 on behalf of the Republic of Korea Air Force. The programme, which sought to develop an indigenously designed trainer aircraft, was a joint effort between aircraft manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries and government body Agency for Defence Development.
In terms of visual appearance, the KT-1 is reminiscent of the Pilatus PC-9, a widely used trainer aircraft at the time of its development. During 1995, the aircraft was officially named ‘Woongbi’. The Republic of Korea Air Force is the primary customer for the type.
Some variants feature additional avionics and systems, such as a night vision goggles, head-up display, multi-function displays, GPS/inertial navigation system, mission computer, onboard oxygen generation system, a vapour-cycle environmental control system and hands-on-throttle-and-stick controls. Avionics are provided by various foreign companies, including Elbit, Flight Vision and Thales. For light attack missions, the aircraft can carry various types of guns, bombs, rockets and missiles dependent upon customer requirements.
The KT-1 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 turboprop engine, with 949 hp. It can reach a maximum speed of 518 km/h, a range of 1,333 km, a service ceiling of 11,580 m, and a Rate of climb of 17.78 m/s.
In addition to Korea and Indonesia, the KT-1 is also in service with the Peruvian Air Force, the Senegalese Air Force, and the Turkish Air Force. About 175 units were produced.