Aquino confirms all 12 FA-50 fighter jets in by 2017
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III confirmed the poorly equipped Philippine military, known to be one of the weakest in Asia, will get a boost from 12 FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea expected to be delivered in 2017.
From zero to 12 fighter jets will clearly enhance the defense capabilities of the Philippines, Aquino said.
By December 2015 at the latest, an initial delivery of two fighter jets will be made.
The last time the Philippine Air Force had fighters that flew in its inventory was 2005, Aquino said. By 2015, it would be a decade since the Air Force retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters.
The FA-50 fighter jets will be provided by South Korea’s Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI) and will involve a government-to-government contract worth P18.9 billion.
What the Philippines has at present are “very ancient planes like the Nomad” which can do 8-9 hour round trips, Aquino told reporters in Busan, South Korea.
The FA-50 jets will allow air controllers and radar operators to retain abilities to guide the fighter planes which are regarded as “lead-in” fighter trainer aircraft. – Rappler.com