Although primarily designed as “light-interim fighter trainer,” the South Korean-made F/A-50 “Fighting Eagle” has capability to intercept and engage in air-to-air combat planes intruding in Philippine airspace. This was stressed by Philippine Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado at the sidelights of the turnover of eight brand-new Bell-412EPs and two attack versions of the AgustaWestland AW-109Es Monday at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
“The aircraft that we’ll be getting (F/A-50s), has the capability to intercept and engage in air-to-air [missions],” he added.
But despite these advanced capabilities, Delgado said the F/A-50s is but a transition aircraft and will be utilized by the PAF in training the next generation of Filipino fighter pilots.
“We consider it a transition aircraft, and hopefully by the time, in the next few years we will come up with a more advance aircraft,” the PAF chief stressed.
Two F/A-50 units are scheduled to be delivered to the PAF before the end of the year.
The Philippines has 12 F/A-50 order from Korea Aerospace Industries worth Php18.9 billion.