by Francis T. Wakefield
The arrival today of two FA-50PH fighter jets from South Korea is expected to beef up the air capability of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, Air Force chief, said the Korean made FA-50PH Aircraft with Tail Numbers 003 and 004 will arrive at the Haribon Hangar, Air Force City, Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga, at 10 a.m. today.
He said the second batch of FA-50PH F/SA/LIFTA from Korea will be brought into the country by the pilots from the Korean Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI).
The first batch of supersonic jets arrived in the country on November 28, 2015 while the remaining batch will be flown in by September next year.
This is part of the PAF’s purchase from Korea Aerospace Industries of 12 fighter jets worth P18.9 billion.
The PAF said the FA-50 PH has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one and a half times the speed of sound and is capable to be fitted with air-to-air missiles.
The missiles include the AIM-9 “Sidewinder” air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles.
Fallorina said the arrival of the two new aircrafts will boost the territorial defense of the country.
“There are two aircrafts coming over on December 1, the third and fourth one. This will surely boost the territorial defense of the country,” Fallorina said during the 77th Department of National Defense (DND) anniversary at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Tuesday.
Fallorina, a helicopter pilot, said he personally tested the aircraft by sitting at the backseat of the fighter jet.