“The LOC (Letter of Credit) for the 12 South Korean F/A-50 “Fighting Eagle” will be opened within seven days starting today,” Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization, Installation and Munitions Fernando Manalo.
The LOC will assure the manufacturer, in this case Korean Aerospace Industries, that Department of National Defense will be fulfilling its financial obligation.
Basing on the contract, delivery of first two jets will be 18 months after the opening of LOC, another two 12 months after the first delivery, and the remaining eight on staggered basis within 8 months after second delivery.
However, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier said that delivery of first two Fighting Eagle will be on September next year.
FA-50 can load up to 4.5 tons of weapons and has a wide-range of armament system. It has a 20 mm three-barrel gun that can fire at extremely high rate internally installed.
It can be fitted with AIM-9 Sidewinder, a short-range air-to-air missile; AGM-65, an 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.
The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.5. It has a length of 13.14m, 9.45m width and 4.82m height. It has a dry weight of 6.5 tons and can take-off with total weight of 12 tons.