Philippine Undersecretary of Defense Fernando Manalo said that Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will deliver two FA-50 fighter jet for the Philippine Air force ahead of schedule.
Department of National Defense’s (DND) modernization and procurement division, Usec. Fernando Manalo said, “We are looking at the early delivery of two FA-50s, and they will be combat and mission ready upon their arrival this December and we have been assured by KAI that by 2017 our procurement will be completed.
“Philippine Airforce need this first two deliveries of FA-50’s fighter jet as soon as possible in order for us to decide if this jets from Korea are indeed met our requirements and criteria also if it’s capable to carry assigned mission specifically in the conflict areas of the West Philippine Sea. Likewise, it will serve us to decide if we can again procure one more squadron of this type of fighter jets or look for other types of multi role fighter like a squadron of Jas-39 Gripen from Sweden.” Usec. Fernando Manalo added.
Manila signed a PHP18.9 billion contract to buy 12 FA-50’s on 28 March 2014, under which KAI was to deliver all the aircraft by mid-2017.
Last year President Aquino inspected an FA-50 at Gimhae Air Base in South Korea in December 2014, and at the time told reporters he expected the 12 aircraft to just be the start of increased defense co-operation between the two countries.