Tested in the Marawi Conflict, Philippine Air Force Adds FA-50 Fighter with a More Capable Variant

Tested in the Marawi Conflict, Philippine Air Force Adds FA-50 Fighter with a More Capable Variant
Philippine Air Force Adds FA-50 Fighter with a More Capable Variant

International Military - To increase the capability of the country's Air Force, the Philippines will add to its military fleet. The Philippine Air Force intends to increase ownership of the FA-50 aircraft developed by the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), especially the more capable variant of the aircraft.

Currently, the Philippines has 12 light fighter aircraft which it acquired in 2015. "Yes it is an option (adding FA-50 aircraft). The FA-50 is a good advanced trainer and can even be called a multi-role fighter because it can perform air-to-air and air-to-ground operations".

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"This aircraft provides pilots with an excellent training opportunity before they move on to more advanced aircraft," said Philippine Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. as quoted by the Philippine News Agency.

Quoted from Defense Security Asia, all 12 FA-50PH light fighter aircraft are currently serving in the 5th Fighter Wing of the Philippine Air Force. The Philippine Air Force also used several of its newly acquired FA-50 aircraft to bomb positions of armed individuals during the conflict in Marawi in the Southern Philippines in 2017.

In addition to the FA-50 aircraft, the Philippine Air Force also used OV-10 Broncos, SF-260s and helicopters to drop bombs on positions of the Daesh terrorist group surrounding the city of Marawi. With a maximum speed of Mach 1.5, the FA-50 light fighter, which is a variant of the TA-50 advanced trainer, can be equipped with a variety of weapons and missile systems.

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The TA-50 advanced trainer was developed by KAI and US defense company Lockheed Martin. The company KAI is also offering a more affordable variant of the FA-50 called the FA-50 Block 20, as the company offered to Malaysia.

The FA-50 Block 20 aircraft are generally equipped with various advanced equipment such as Sniper Advance Targeting Pod, 20mm cannon, AIM-9 missile, GBU-12 LGB Integration, GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) and AGM missiles. -65 Maverick.

In addition, the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft will also be equipped with an Air-To-Air Refueling Probe (AAR Probe) for air refueling and a Link 16 Block Upgrade 2. The AAR Probe facility will ensure that the FA-50 Block 20 aircraft able to operate over long distances.

In addition, he said, there is also an option for upgrading work that can be done in the future because the things that will be improved are still in the development process by KAI at this time. Among other things, that includes 300 gallon External Fuel Tanks and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capability in the form of the AIM-120 air-to-air missile (AMRAAM).

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Quoted from Air Force Technology, the FA-50 is a light fighter aircraft produced by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). It is a light combat version of the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic light combat and trainer aircraft.

Development of the FA-50 fighter began in October 1997. Six prototypes were built during the development phase that ended in January 2006. The FA-50 was awarded a military type certificate by the Korean Military Aircraft Airworthiness Committee (MAAC) in October 2012.

It is the first fighter-class military aircraft to receive MAAC certification. The locally developed KAI FA-50 light attack aircraft replaces ROKAF's fleet of aging F-5E/F and A-37 fighters. The FA-50 also strengthens the ROKAF's defensive capabilities.

Lockheed Martin's Sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP) will be integrated into the FA-50 platform in August 2020. The Sniper pod is expected to be certified by the end of 2020.

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