Philippine Air Force to Receive All 12 FA-50PH by May 2017, Plans More FA-50s

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), through its spokesman BGen. Restituto Padilla, confirmed in an interview on March 22, 2017, that Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will be completing the delivery of all FA-50PH Fighting Eagle lead-in fighter trainer / light combat aircraft by May 2017. 

Two of the PAF's FA-50s are seen here on display at Clark Air Base, Pampanga.
Photo taken from Youtube Video posted by Kin Enriquez.


This is far earlier than the agreed delivery date based on the contract signed between the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and KAI, which stated that the delivery will be completed by December 2017. Originally, the contract stated that the first 2 units will be delivered before end of 2015, another 2 before end of 2016, and 2 units every 3 months from thereafter. The second batch was delivered on November 2016, so 3 months for the 3rd batch is February 2017 (which already happened), while the 4th batch was supposed to be on May 2017, and so forth.

Fortunately, KAI is indeed delivering the aircraft faster than expect, as it intends to clear its production line to start the assembly of new orders coming from the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) and the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), which ordered four (4) T-50s for its lead-in fighter training requirements.

The Philippines is said to be the first country to use the T-50 family in combat strike missions, using Mk. 82 500lb free fall bombs against terrorists in Mindanao.


Aside from the information on the advanced deliveries, BGen. Padilla also mentioned that there is interest from the Philippine Air Force to acquire more FA-50s from KAI, particularly six (6) units, subject to approval from the government.

While this appears to be good news, the plan to acquire more FA-50s, originally dubbed as the Fighter/Surface Attack Aircraft/Lead-in Fighter Trainer (F/SAA/LIFT) project, was already in the works since the Philippine Air Force started planning for their Horizons 2 & 3 phases of the AFP Modernization Program.

Based on the latest versions of the PAF's Horizon 2 phase request submitted to the Department of National Defense for approval and funding, the PAF is actually looking to acquire at least six (6) units more, but preferably wanted twelve (12) more units to bring the total FA-50s to twenty four (24) units by the end of Horizon 2 phase. This would enable the PAF to have at least two (2) squadrons of FA-50PH Fighting Eagles which could be used for interdiction, ground attack, and lead-in fighter training for future Multi-Role Fighters.

Based on the PAF/AFP's Revised Modernization Program proposal submitted to the DND, the PAF is actually requesting up to 12 additional F/SAA/LIFT aircraft for the Horizon 2 (H2) phase. The recently reported possibility of requesting 6 aircraft could be the minimum that the PAF can find acceptable.



Speaking of which, any request for additional F/SAA/LIFT aircraft (FA-50PH) is SEPARATE from any acquisition plan for Multi-Role Fighter aircraft, which the PAF wanted to have in its fleet in the near future. 

While the FA-50 acts as the country's only jet fighter aircraft at the moment, they were acquired with the future in mind - to train PAF pilots for the eventual multi-role fighter which the PAF plans to acquire in addition to the FA-50.
Photo of JAS-39 Gripen for reference only.



MaxDefense will be posting more on the FA-50PH deliveries, with quick updates to be made on our MaxDefense Philippines @ Facebook community page, similar to what we had before when FA-50 batches 1 to 3 were delivered to the PAF.

Comments

  1. First!!
    Sir Max, what type of missile/bomb will our F-50 be equipped?

    OneLove.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plan includes smart bombs, Mavericks and Sidewinders, rocket pods and dumb bombs.

      Delete
  2. Congratulations in advance to PAF! I pray to grant our AFP and DND people the guts and aggressiveness of a true soldier so that they may be able to defend our interests, foreign or local, to hasten and complete the planned AFP modernization special mention to follow the planned original number of FA50s to be acquired and where are its missiles?... CAS project...hasten the aubmarine program... where are the wildcats and frigates notice to proceed? (Is it already ok?)...the SBMS or LBMS?... del pilar frigates missiles....MPA project... and the proposed procurement of stop gap corvettes...amen.

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  3. ...oh my, why not just pursue with the 12 LIFT as planned...hope this time the airforce wont be that lax in building up the numbers of jets. at least even if its not an MRF, the thing here is, more pilots will be acquainted at handling planes sophisticated than the F/A-50's....

    ..go for it airforce...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 12 LIFT continues. No more question on that.

      Delete
  4. Sir Max what's the news sa frigate? When will they start with finishing the design and building the ship?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Max. What's that item you marked off in red, the #1 item on the required capabilities list? :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir Max,

    Regarding the limitation of the FA50 to have only weapons and sensors be dictated by Lockheed Martin, does this mean that we cannot procure Israel weapons if they can have our planes be certified to fire python missile? If this is true then aim9 sidewinders are the only missile option that this bird would have. If that is so then would it be possible for the current inventory of old stocks of aim9 be upgraded.

    BTW nice design on the new blog site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its still unclear if the FA-50 is really bounded by such concerns. The point that Rafael has been pushing their munitions for the PAF's FA-50 means that it can be done.

      Delete
  7. Sir max, is the PAF considering the F35 for our MRF requirement? It is slated to cost $80M by Year 2020 while the gripen will cost us $30-60M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do not easily be swayed by the costs you see on the internet. It depends on the inclusions in the contract. The F-35 costs norh of $100 million if options are included. So the answer to your question is no. F-35S are out of the table. Not to mention the US allowing the PAF to have them.

      Delete
    2. F35 is out of table is too expensive. Even it states in Wikipedia the cost of around 80millions means its the actual price. It is actually the starting price it is not include weapons, productions, logistics, trainings, etc that could go up more 120 millions. Japan's F35 costs about130 millions, the Israeli 160 millions that is with the options to customize their F35s using their own israeli subsystems. F35 is too expensive for PAF. I would say Gripen NG is best choice for PAF because its flexibility, lower logistics and its capabilty to use commercial highways if one of our airfield has been struck by bombs or missiles.

      Delete
  8. Sana kumuha narin ng gripen Fighter jets. Since nag plan na sila additional training planes. Para by batch and knowledge once certified na piloto meron a din gripen na multirole jets na magagamit. Maganda specs ng gripen jets at naangkop sa geographic location ng pinas

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sana parallel purchase is to get two unit multi role figther jets. Matagal din kasi leadtime nito, so by that time na expert na first batch of pilot na natrain meron na sila agad magagamit ng mag level up fighter jets. Magandang manufacturer is gripen since ok na ok specs nya bagay na bagay sa location ng Pinas lalo ag karoon tyo ng kahit 1 squadron nito. Then sana makapag engage na din government natin sa Israel makers ng iron dome. Plus radars!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sana parallel purchase is to get two unit multi role fighter jets. Matagal din kasi leadtime nito, so by that time na expert na first batch of pilot na natrain meron na sila agad magagamit ng pang level up fighter jets. Magandang manufacturer is gripen since ok na ok specs, bagay na bagay sa location ng Pinas lalo na kung magkaroon tyo ng kahit 1 squadron nito. Then sana makapag engage na din government natin sa Israel makers ng iron dome. Plus radars!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, I agree that the PAF should have 24 F/A-50s before going for new multirole jet fighters. As for what the PAF should equip its F/A-50 with. I would propose EO & Laser Designator pods, AIM-9M, AIM-120C-7, Laser-JDAM, APKWS rockets and AGM-65D/G Maverick AGM/AShM.

    ReplyDelete
  12. how about the missiles? where are the frigging missiles to go with these babies? cant we just buy them from israel and fast???

    ReplyDelete
  13. A Bayan Ko tama ka dapat 6 fa50s and 6 Jas 39 griffen ang magandang kukunin ng paf at least we have 6 mrf ready to combat anytime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why settle with that when the plan of the PAF is way better?

      Delete
  14. Hi MaxDefense Philippines Team,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog MaxDefense Philippines has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Defense Blogs on the web.

    http://blog.feedspot.com/defense_blogs/

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Defense Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.

    Best,
    Anuj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anuj, thank you very much for giving our blog the honour of being among the Top 100 defense blogs in the world! You do not just honour me or our contributors, but also our community who continuously support us through the years and appreciate Feedspot's seeing our small but active group in promoting and sharing knowledge on defense issues to the public.

      Wishing the success of both our teams in our future endeavours! Cheers!!

      Delete
  15. Instead of grippen sana i-consider ang dassault rafale.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Masyado mahal ang Rafale. Mas maganda Gripen NG mas flexible in terms of weaponrys, lower cost per flight time at better sa logistics kasi karamihan ng systems ng Gripen ay made in US.

      Delete
  16. FA50 PH is not bad at all but it is lacking capability to intercept fighters in BVR combat. If ever happens we encounter Chinese j-11 or j10 in South China sea The FA50 is a sitting duck. Even mig 21's with BVR capability can shoot down FA50 at long range. The cheapest alternative for this is to upgrade all FA50's with advance Aesa Radar and integrate BVR missiles like Aim120D's or Meteor. Air refueling system should be consider as an upgrade in order for FA50 to stay in the air for longer periods of time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. When is the Philippine Military going to finally enter the MISSILE AGE?

    There is no point in purchasing anymore FA-50's until a complete Air-to-Air Weapons are procured. What's the value or point in flying these with no cannon rounds and no AAM's?

    It is almost 2020 and the Philippine Military still has ZERO Guided Missiles . No AAM's, No anti-ship Missiles, No SAM's, No MANPADS not even Hellfire for God's sake it's pathetic.

    I don't want to be negative, but come on the Philippine Military for all Major Weapon Platforms such as LIFT's, COIN aircraft, Frigates, etc they must be delivered with a Missiles at the same time in one inclusive contract, otherwise this wishful thinking that the Government will Upgrade the LIFT's with Missiles at a later date doesn't happen.

    The Philippine Navy is really just an enlarged Coast Guard (all guns) and the Air Force is a joke without guided Missiles.

    It's too bad the Philippine Military isn't smart enough to negotiate with Israel for Missile procurements because they always offer their customers excellent training, technical and spares support and HIGH value for good pricing without restrictions.

    The new SK designed MFF's should be armed with a Barak 3 VLS SAM system.

    ReplyDelete

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