South Korea rolled out the first armed version of its T-50 supersonic trainer jet in January and has deployed the TA-50 in stages since then.
"The deployment of the TA-50 allows the Air Force to establish lead-in fighter training with homegrown jets," Air Force officials said.
The Air Force unveiled the TA-50 to the media on Thursday for the first time at an air base in Yecheon, North Gyeongsang Province.
The TA-50 is also intended for a full-fledged attack platform as it can carry precision-guided weapons such as AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and TGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles, according to the official.
From 2012, South Korea will also begin deploying a more heavily armed version of the T-50. Named the FA-50, the multirole fighter jet is comparable to the KF-16, he said.
Jointly developed by Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea's sole aircraft maker, and U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin, South Korea unveiled the T-50 "Golden Eagle" in 2005, making the country the world's 12th supersonic jet producer.
TA-50 light attack aircraft (Yonhap file photo)