27 April 2017
PAF FA-50PH number 009 (photo : efrainnoelmorota)
MANILA -- The Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s fleet of FA-50PH "Fighting Eagle" jet fighters has climbed to 10 with the arrival of two more aircaft at Clark Air Base, Angeles City, Pampanga Wednesday morning.
This was confirmed by PAF spokesperson Col. Antonio Francisco in a message to the PNA.
"FA-50 with tail number 009 touched down at 11:20 a.m. while FA-50 with tail number 010 (landed) at 11:21 a.m.," he said.
Francisco said the two aircraft took off from Saechon, South Korea on 7:59 a.m. of April 25 and landed on Jeju on 8:50 a.m. on the same day.
After refueling in Jeju, it took off around 12:39 p.m. and landed in Taiwan around 2:47 p.m. also on April 25.
Francisco said the FA-50PHs departed deparated from Taiwan around 10:08 a.m. April 26 with FA-50PH with tail number 009 landing at 11:20 a.m. and tail number 010 arriving at 11:21 a.m.
PAF FA-50PH number 010 (photo : efrainnoelmorota)
FA-50PHs with tail numbers 007 and 008 arrived in the country last March 29 and were commissioned into service last April 6.
Francisco said the FA-50PHs are very useful for the PAF as it can be used for territorial defense and pilot training which is important as they are now focusing on the "generation" of pilots capable of manning sophisticated jet fighters which the country is planning to acquire for its military modernization program.
The first two FA-50PH units were delivered last Nov. 28, 2015 while the second batch was handed over last Dec. 8.
The third batch was turned over to the PAF last Feb. 22.
With the arrival of the two jet aircraft, only two more FA-50PHs are scheduled to be delivered by May, completing the PAF's 12-plane order from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) worth PHP18.9 billion.
The FA-50PHs 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.