US blocks plans of Korea to sell T-50 planes to Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The US Government blocks the plans of the South Korea to export supersonic trainers T-50 Golden Eagle to Uzbekistan, the Korean Times reported quoting source.
T-50 Golden Eagle plane was co-developed in 2006 by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin. The Korean side needs to get approval from the US government to export the aircraft in accordance with the US Arms Export Control Act.
“KAI has been in negotiations with the Uzbek government to export the supersonic trainers, but the US government is opposing the deal, citing possible technology leakage and diplomatic policy,” a source told to the paper. KAI was planning to sell 12 T-50 airplanes worth US$400 million to Uzbekistan.
The US expressed concerns that Uzbekistan’s procurement of the T-50s may ratchet up tensions with neighboring countries, the source said.
“As Uzbekistan has close ties with Russia, the US is worried that an export of T-50s to Uzbekistan may lead to its technologies being transferred to Russia,” said a military official.
However, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the nation’s arms procurement agency, is still seeking to keep the talks with Uzbekistan alive, the paper reported. Despite the US opposition, DAPA will step up efforts to persuade Washington to approve the deal, the military official said.