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South Korea Debuts New Hi-Tech Military Trainer

South Korea has unveiled a new supersonic trainer jet.

Korea Aerospace Industries is celebrating the first T-50 Golden Eagle to roll off the production line Tuesday during a ceremony at its headquarters in Sacheon, 430 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The T-50 is a joint project of KAI and U.S.-based defense giant Lockheed Martin. It can fly at one-and-a-half times the speed of sound (Mach 1.5), and is designed to train jet fighter pilots.

The South Korean Air Force has ordered about 50 of the supersonic jets. KAI and Lockheed Martin are also hoping to sell at least 600 T-50s on the global market.

Korean Aerospace Industries was created in 1999 through the consolidation of the aerospace businesses of South Korean conglomerates Daewoo, Samsung, and Hyundai.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.