FA-50PH Jets Back Up PH’S Territorial Defense Capabilities; PAF Holds Acceptance, Turn-Over And Blessing Ceremony
06 March 2017
“The FA-50PH jets are not just for war…they can be utilized to preserve the country’s peace and freedom.”
This was the one of the statements of Major General Arnold A Mancita AFP, the Commander of Air Logistics Command of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), during the acceptance, turn-over, and blessing ceremony of the FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” Fighter/Surface Attack/Lead-in Fighters Trainer Aircraft (F/SA/LIFTA) with tail numbers 005 and 006 conducted today, March 2, 2016, at the Haribon Hangar, Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
The third batch of FA-50PH jets were ferried in the country by the pilots of the Republic of South Korea Air Force (ROKAF) on February 28 at Clark Air Base.
Prior to the formal acceptance and blessing ceremony, the aircraft had undergone an acceptance flight by the end-users test pilot with the presence of the Technical Inspection Acceptance Committee (TIAC) members.
On behalf of the PAF Commanding General, Lieutenant General Edgar R Fallorina, MGen Mancita thanked the country’s partner, the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), Ltd., for making the acquisition possible. The arrival of these jets helped the Philippines stance in improving its competence and capabilities on matters pertaining to internal security operations and territorial defense.
The FA-50 is a multirole fighter variant of KAI's T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer. It is capable of carrying short range air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles with countermeasures such as chaffs and infrared flares.
The PAF’s acquisition of the 12 FA-50PH F/SA/LIFTA is under the AFP Modernization Program contracted with the KAI to beef up the country’s territorial defense capabilities. Moreover, the said acquisition signals the symbolic return of the PAF to its supersonic age after the PAF's F-5 Freedom Fighter jets were retired in 2005.
With the arrival of the third batch of FA-50PH jets, the PAF now has six jets in its inventory while the delivery of the rest of the jets will be completed in 2017.