16 Juni 2014
F/A-50 model for PAF (image : adrian bernardi)
MANILA (PNA) -- The letter of credit(LOC) for the South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" will be signed within the month.
The signing will take place by this coming week or the next, Defense undersecretary for finance, modernization, installation and munitions Fernando Manalo, said.
No other details were given.
An LOC is a document issued by a financial institution, or a similar party, assuring payment to a seller of goods and/or services provided certain documents have been presented to the bank.
Contract for the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) jet aircraft, of which the Philippines has ordered 12 units for P18 billion, was signed last March 28.
Upon signing of the LOC, two F/A-50 jet aircraft are expected to be delivered 18 months after.
While 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.
The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.
The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.
There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.
An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.
Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.
The F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI.
The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.
The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5.
Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner.