Senior staff from the International Tactical Training Centre (ITTC), a wholly owned subsidiary of ITPS (Canada) Ltd. (booth 609 at CANSEC), recently returned from a working visit with strategic partners in South Korea, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). ITPS has provided world-class flight-test training to the ROKAF and KAI for over 30 years, with their graduates completing milestone test flights on several Korean designed and manufactured aircraft, including the cutting-edge KF-21 Boramae advanced multi-role fighter. The purpose of the trip was to evaluate potential replacements for ITTC’s current fleet of L-39C fast jet trainer aircraft.

On Monday, 8th May, ITTC Head of Training Brendan ‘Darcee’ Pierce, and ITPS Deputy Head of Training, Dave ‘Loshy’ Lohse, had the unique opportunity to fly the FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft. The FA-50 is a supersonic advanced jet trainer designed and manufactured by KAI in partnership with Lockheed Martin (booth 1311 at CANSEC), currently in service with several Air Forces around the world, including the ROKAF. Darcee and Loshy were introduced to the FA-50 capabilities in the morning with hands-on training at the ROKAF’s high-fidelity simulation centre, before conducting a formation tactical training mission in the aircraft with front-line ROKAF pilots. Both pilots witnessed first-hand the various air-to-air and air-to-surface training and tactical capabilities of the FA-50. Of note, this was the first time non-military pilots were authorized to fly this highly capable, front-line aircraft. Both Darcee and Loshy have extensive prior experience operating the F/A-18 fighter aircraft with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force.

According to Darcee: “Flying and assessing the FA-50 was a great privilege. The aircraft’s performance exceeded all expectations for an advanced jet trainer. The human-machine interface and modern cockpit design make it ideally suited to high-level instruction and preparing tomorrow’s fighter pilots for the complexity of the future battle space. We would like to sincerely thank KAI and the ROKAF for arranging this historic opportunity.”   

ITTC looks forward to deepening their relationship with both the ROKAF and KAI, by continuing to train their world-class flight test teams and evaluating the suitability of the FA-50 as ITTC’s future advanced jet trainer. ITTC’s next generation advanced jet trainer and simulation facilities will future-proof our fleet and deliver leading-edge tactical training to Allies around the world from their home airport of London, Ontario.