The Philippines Air Force (PAF) is identifying a set of priorities in its medium-term military modernizations program procurement for the 2nd horizon in the flight plan 2028.

A senior PAF official said before the Asian Defence and Security 2016 (ADAS 2016) exhibition in Manila that it need to secure additional orders for light combat aircraft and attack helicopters. A requirement specified in the said flight plan.

AW109 power light attack helicopters by Finmeccanica/Leonardo

The PAF would look to secure government approval for the procurement of 12 units more of AW109 power light attack helicopters produced by Finmeccanica (Leonardo from January 2017).

According to the PAF official, acquisitions of AW109s had become more urgent for the PAF after President Rodrigo Duterte announced in June 2016, the immediate procurement of attack choppers with night vision capabilities.

KIA FA-50 multi-role fighter jet
KIA FA-50 multi-role fighter jet

The next priority equipment in the said flight plan is the procurement of additional 3 squadron or 36 units of KAI, FA-50 multi-role fighter jet. It aims to “detect, intercept and neutralize” any perceived threat in Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

But for now procuring a fighter jet is far to reality since it has less appeal to the president. He said “buying FA-50s is a “waste of money.” and may have little or no use at all in addressing the insurgency problem.” – JCE.



  1. FA-50 is basically designed as a trainer aircraft. it just had been modified as a multirole fighter jet. Max speed of these i think about Mach 1.5. We need about Mach 2. That is to intercept any threat from outside our teritory in less time. Because we dont have any Ground to air missles defense system yet. We net is multirole fighter jet. capable of loading heavy payloads, more manueverable, and has the ability of dog fighter.

  2. Trainer aircraft. But even an F-22 or Su-35S is useless without reliable BVR stand-off air-to-air missiles. AMRAAM or equivalent. AIM-9Ls are old and with the current state of affairs between the U.S. and Philippines, getting AIM-9X is out of the question. But the latter is also a last ditch weapon. These FA-50s will just be easy (expensive) target practice for the Chinese to shoot down. I realize most politicians and the population is mostly ignorant of military capabilities and tactics, but the rest of the world can see right through this facade. Fighter aircraft are useless without adequate weapons. Relying on “guns” is archaic and naive.

  3. instead of procuring 3 squadrons of FA-50, procure 1 squadron of real MRF atleast the cheapest Philippine can afford like the JAS-39

  4. SAAB maker og JAS-39 is putting office in the Philippines, this is good opportunity for our PAF to explore.

  5. JAS-39 E/F Gripen NG would be a much better choice. Better to have less aircraft, but fighters that pose a real threat with modern technology. DND should not settle for crappy left overs.

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