Deliveries of FA-50s to be completed May
The deliveries of FA-50 fighter trainer aircraft of the Philippine Air Force are set to complete by May, said Brig. General Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman in an interview with reporters late Wednesday.
“The fourth batch of delivery is expected to arrive before the end of this month, by April, FA-50s with tail numbers 009 and 010 will be delivered while 011 and 012 will be handed over this May. By that time, the PAF's FA-50 fleet will be completed,” Padilla said.
In previous interview, Col. Antonio Francisco, Air Force spokesman, said the seventh and eighth units of the FA-50’s with tail number 007 and 008 is set to arrive in Clark Airbase, Pampanga by March 29, 2017.
It can be recalled the 5th and 6th units of FA-50 arrived early this month.
Padilla also mentioned that because of the good performance of the FA-50, the military may possibly acquire six more units if they were authorized and funds can be set aside by the government.
“We are constantly evaluating the jet and so far, its performance has been good. If we will be given additional funding and authority, we might acquire six more units," he said.
Aside from training and familiarization flight, the military is using the FA-50 aircraft on its operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Mindanao.
It can be recalled President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all military assets, including Philippine Air Force jets, to be used against the New People's Army (NPA) following the killing of four policemen who were ambushed by the rebels in Davao del Sur.
The government has spent a total of P18.9 billion to acquire 12 FA-50 fighter aircraft from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). The first batch were delivered on November 2015, while the second batch arrived in the country on November 2016 and the third batch was delivered last March 3, 2017. Robina Asido/DMS