19 Mei 2014
KAI F/A-50 Golden Eagle (photo : KAI)
MANILA (PNA) -- Four Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots will be deployed to South Korea before year end to undergo familiarization training in the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) F/A-50 "Golden Eagle".
This was confirmed by Air Defense Wing official Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol in an interview Monday.
He added that these officers are relatively junior and only have the rank of captain and major.
Aside from this, these PAF officials relatively have high jet time compared to other pilots.
Okol said that these officials have accrued their jet time flying SIAI-Marchetti S-211 jet trainers which double as attack aircraft of the PAF.
"These men will be rated as test pilots and operational pilots of the F/A-50s while those who only have 200 to 300 hours of jet hours will be first made to undergo F/A-50 simulator training before being trained and certified by our test pilots for F/A-50 operations," the PAF official said in Filipino.
Deployment of these PAF pilots to South Korea for training and familiarization briefing on the F/A-50 will be determined later, Okol said.
The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last March 28.
Department of National Defense undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.
The F/A-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one and a half times the speed of sound and is capable of being fitted air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles aside from light automatic cannons.
The F/A-50 will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines get enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.
The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.
KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.
See full article PNA