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At a ceremony to mark the completion of the deployment of the T-50 advanced trainer jets, a squadron of the supersonic aircraft land on a runway in Gwangju yesterday. The state-run Korea Aerospace Industries delivered the 50th and final plane yesterday to the Air Force. Korea has been deploying T-50s since 2005, after the Korea Aerospace Industries developed the aircraft in an eight-year project that cost 2.2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) since 1997. The development significantly upgraded South Korea’s aerospace technology, making the country one of a handful of nations such as the United States, Britain and Russia that trains pilots using locally developed supersonic jets. The aircraft can travel at a maximum speed of Mach 1.5, is stable at low speeds and can make steep turns to fly in a 1 kilometer- (0.6-mile) radius circle in just 15 seconds. Korea has been trying to export T-50s to other nations, with possible buyers including Singapore. [YONHAP]
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