Two units of South Korean FA-50 will be delivered ready to defend Philippine aerospace and carry out patrol missions. “We are looking at the early delivery of two FA-50s. They will be combat and mission ready upon their arrival this December,” Department of National Defense Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization and Materiel Fernando Manalo told the state-run news agency.
The two FA-50 jets are part of the 12 units acquired for PhP 18.9 billion from Korean Aerospace Industries.
FA-50 Fighting Eagle, with its radar system, can go on autonomous air patrols without relying too much on ground based surveillance system.
It can load up to 4.5 tons of weapons and 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.