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Korea Aerospace Industries

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. is the Republic of Korea's national aerospace company established in 1999 with the consolidation of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company. KAI lines of business include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter aircraft and satellites. Its major products are the KF-16, KT-1 basic trainer, T-50/A-50, SB427 helicopters, aerostructures and KOMPSAT satellite program.

On April 22, 1999, Prime Minister Jong-Pil Kim chaired the Korean government's second meeting regarding the Korean aerospace development policy. As a result of meeting, the Republic of Korea Government (ROKG) took a major step in its plan to consolidate Korea's competing aerospace industry manufacturers (Hyundai, Samsung, Daewoo) into a new single entity known as the Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI). Although program activities began in May 1999, and a joint planning team is in place, the company was not actually be legally registered with ROKG until late July 1999.

The Korean government granted KAI exclusive rights for all of the government's military logistics and aerospace projects. In order to accomplish this, Korea plans to designate the KAI as an "Exclusive Business Organization for the Korean Aerospace Industry" and also as a "Specialized Company for the Korean Aerospace Industry". Along with granting exclusive production rights to KAI, the ROKG also agreed to provide one hundred percent of the developmental costs for military logistics projects. Additionally, fifty percent of the total development cost of any commercial aerospace project will be supported by the ROKG.

In 2000, the Korean government designated KAI as a specialty aircraft manufacturer, and the company has led the development of the nation's aerospace industry by engaging in continuous research and development (R&D) as well as manufacturing top-quality products for customers.

KAI works with the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Defense Quality Assurance Agency (DQAA) to develop and assess the quality of aircraft and satellites. By working together, national aerospace projects can be carried out successfully. The company has also formed numerous alliances with leading aircraft manufacturers. These tie-ups, which cover everything from new product development to production and marketing, help to give the company world-class competitiveness. Business activities span both the military and commercial sectors.

KAI's defense industry participation includes T-50/A 50 advanced trainer, the KT-1 basic trainer, Korean Fighter Program Phase II (KFP-2), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Korean multipurpose helicopter (KMH) and Marine patrol aircraft (MPA) programs, as well as military electronics systems and composite materials. In the commercial aircraft sector, KAI produces helicopters, exports airframe parts and is involved in the satellite business. KAI intends to be a world-class aerospace company capable of producing a broad range of aircraft, said a KAI official. To this end, KAI is strengthening its core competence by raising technological competitiveness, expanding strategic alliances and cultivating top-class personnel.

KAI's approach is to achieve a balanced development of the military and commercial sectors, while securing new mainstay business lines and diversifying operations. KAI's stated goal is to rank itself among the world's top 10 aircraft manufacturers by 2010, which will help it play an influential role in the aerospace industry of the 21st century. As a national project, KAI aims to produce the T50/A-50 advanced trainer and Light Combat Aircraft. Through the T-50 project, KAI is gaining the capability to develop its own aircraft and play a more prominent role in the 21st century.

Sacheon No 1 Plant, built on 243 acres (building area :24.3 acres) at Sanam-myeon, Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, 664-942 Korea, has a total of 2,000 employees including 900 or so engineering personnel. Sacheon Plant consists of key facilities for aircraft manufacturing including final assembly hangar, fabrication building, R&D center, run station, engine test cell, fuel calibration shop, paint shop and other auxiliary buildings. The final assembly building has no-pillar space of 120 meter x 180 meter which is flexible to any type of production line.

The paint shop keeps constant humidity and 0.6 m/sec wind flow inside to keep same thickness of painting all over the surface of aircraft. The engine start system check and various function test regarding engine power are performed at engine test cell which was designed and built by Volvo co., a Swedish company. This test cell can keeps the noise level outside below 55 dB during aircraft maximum power test normally causing 130 dB noise inside.

In 1996 Sachon Plant received ISO 9002:1994 and ISO 14001 certifications at the same time, this was the first case in the field of the aerospace industry and in 2002, Sachon Plant also received ISO 9001:2000 and MND0050-9002 certifications. Sachon Plant has been contributed to establish the global aerospace standards as a Council Member of IAQG(International Aerospace Quality Group) since 1999 and it is taking initiative to lead international and domestic aerospace industries through obtaining an AS9100 certification. In addition, Sachon Plant has been performing calibration services for precision measurement equipment owned by KAI and suppliers, since being certified as a national calibration laboratory in accordance with ISO 17025 by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy in May, 2001. In the field of Quality Management, Sachon Plant is recognized industry leader, receiving the President's Awards of Quality Management in 1998. From 1998 to 2002 Sachon Plant has been presented 3 gold and 2 bronze awards in Excellent Quality Circle Convention. In addition, the plant has also produced 6 Quality Masters. Sachon Plant is recognized worldwide and by Korean government for exceptional quality products. Innovative quality systems, continuous improvement activities and advanced manufacturing processes is ensured to be key factors in achieving our vision.




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