Currently, the Philippine Air Force owns 12 of the FA-50 light fighter aircraft that it acquired in 2015.
The Philippine Air Force intends to increase its holdings of FA-50 aircraft developed by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) company especially the more capable variant of the aircraft.
According to report published by the Philippine govt “the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is mulling to acquire more advanced versions of South Korea’s Mach 1.5 capable FA-50 light combat aircraft”.
Currently, Philippine Air Force owns 12 FA-50 light fighter aircraft which it acquired in 2015 for PHP18.9 billion. These aircraft are now called FA-50PH and are now used by the PAF for its 5th Fighter Wing.
“Yes, it is an option (to add FA-50 aircraft). The FA-50 is a good lead-in training aircraft and can even be called a multi-role fighter aircraft as it can perform air-to-air and air-to-ground operations. ”
“The aircraft provide pilots with excellent training opportunities before they move on to more sophisticated aircraft,” Philippine Air Force Chief Lt. General Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. was quoted as saying by the Philippine News Agency.
The Philippine Air Force also used several FA-50 aircraft it had just owned to bomb the positions of armed individuals during the conflict in Marawi in the Southern Philippines in 2017.
In addition to its FA-50 aircraft, the Philippine Air Force also used OV-10 Bronco, SF-260 and helicopters to drop bombs on the position of the Daesh terrorist group that besieged the city of Marawi.
With a maximum speed of Mach 1.5, the FA-50 light fighter aircraft which is a variant of the TA-50 advanced training aircraft can be equipped with various weapon systems and missiles.
The TA-50 advanced training aircraft was developed by KAI and US defense company Lockheed Martin.
The FA-50 Block 20 aircraft are generally equipped with various advanced equipment such as “Sniper Advance Targeting Pod,” 20mm gun, AIM-9 missile, GBU-12 LGB Integration, GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) and AGM missile -65 Maverick.
In addition, the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft will also be equipped with an Air-To-Air Refueling Probe (AAR Probe) to carry out oil refueling in the air and a Link 16 Block Upgrade 2.
The convenience of the AAR Probe will ensure the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft is capable of operating at longer and longer distances.
Apart from that, he said, there are also options for upgrading work that can be done in the future because the matter to be upgraded is still in the development process at this time by KAI.
These include 300 gallons of External Fuel Tanks and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capabilities in the form of the AIM-120 air-to-air guided shell (AMRAAM).