The US government has opposed South Korea’s plans to export T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic training jets to Uzbekistan as it fears a possible leakage of technology to Russia, the Korea Times newspaper reported citing a military source on Sunday.
T-50 Golden Eagle was jointly developed by the Korea Aerospace Industries’ (KAI) and the American aerospace, defense and advance technologies company Lockheed Martin in 2006.
Thus, under US Arms Export Control Act, Korea is obliged to coordinate its export deals with the United States.
KAI intended to sell 12 T-50 jets worth $400. Despite the US opposition, the Korean Ministry of National Defense still seeks to keep contacts with Uzbekistan on the matter.
“As Uzbekistan has close ties with Russia, the US is worried that an export of T-50 to Uzbekistan may lead to its technologies being transferred to Russia,” the source was quoted as saying.
Currently, South Korea exports T-50 to Iraq, the Philippines and Thailand.