South Korea to deliver 2 fighter jets on Friday
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – South Korea will deliver on Friday two lead-in fighter jets, the first of a squadron, that the government has ordered for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) modernization program.

Col. Enrico Canaya, PAF spokesman, said two FA-50s would be touching down at Clark Field in Pampanga at around 10 a.m. with top defense and military officers, including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri, witnessing the arrival.

The jets are brand new and would perform flights before formal acceptance by the PAF.

“This is historic because this will be the first time PAF will have supersonic capability since 2005, following the decommissioning of our F5 fighter jets,” Canaya said.

He added that the jets would be flown to the Philippines by pilots provided by manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) with a scheduled refueling at an undisclosed area along the way.

Under a government-to-government contract, KAI sold a squadron of FA-50 to the Philippines for P18.9 billion following the signing of a defense procurement contract last year.

The Air Force currently has only three S211 trainer fighter jets and a few Vietnam vintage OV-10 bombers in its inventory.

Since the FA-50 will initially not be armed, it will be used for training new pilots while the PAF waits for additional deliveries in 2016 and 2017.

Prior to delivery, the PAF sent teams of pilots and maintenance crew to South Korea to be trained on flying and maintenance.

With a speed faster than sound at 1.2 Mac and a copycat of the US F-16 aircraft, the FA-50s, when fully equipped, are capable of engaging other modern fighters in air combat.

AIR FORCE CANAYA CLARK FIELD DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN AND ARMED FORCES ENRICO CANAYA HERNANDO IRIBERRI KOREAN AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES PAF PAMPANGA PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE SOUTH KOREA
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