by Francis T. Wakefield
Two more FA-50PH training planes purchased from South Korea for the Philippine Air Force arrived Wednesday in Clark Airbase, Pampanga.
Air Force Spokesman Colonel Antonio Francisco said the two planes are the third delivery from the Korean Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI).
The Philippines ordered 12 FA-PH aircraft from KAI for P18.9 billion. Six have been delivered.
Francisco said the two supersonic jets were welcomed by the Commander of the Air Logistics Command Major General Arnold A. Mancita with PAF chief Lieutenant General Edgar R. Fallorina as guest of honor and speaker.
The first batch of FA-PHs arrived on November 28, 2015. The last batch will be flown in by September 26.
“We expect the delivery of the jets to be completed within the year,” Francisco said.
He said the planes are expected to further boost the PAF’s air capabilities.
“The planes will also help boost the training capabilities of our pilots, it will also be use for training purposes so that our pilots will acquire more skills in flying fighter jets or supersonic jets,” he said.
The FA-50 PH has a top speed of Mach 1.5, or one and a half times the speed of sound, and could be armed with air-to-air missiles.
The missiles include the AIM-9 “Sidewinder” heat-seeking missiles.
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