Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo directly told The Star that the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) for the acquisition of 12 FA-50s “Fighting Eagle” of South Korea’s Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) worth PHP18.9 billion has been issued last June 24.
With SARO issued, Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin is expecting 2 Fighting Eagles to be delivered September 2015. Another two jets 12 months after the first delivery, and the remaining eight on staggered basis within 8 months after second delivery.
These supersonic advanced trainer and multirole light fighters will act as the country’s trainer and main fighter jets for the meantime, until PAF pilots have gained enough experience in flying supersonic jets and enough budget to acquire more capable and sophisticated aircraft.
FA-50s are fitted with a short-range air-to-air missile, air-to-surface missile designed for close-air support missions, cluster bombs, and rocket launchers.
The Fighting Eagle is equipped with Multimode Airborne Fire Control Radar system designed to accomplish air-to-air and airstrike missions.