THE Korean Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) will deliver the second batch of fighter jets to the Philippine Air Force on December 1.
Piloted by KAI personnel, the two FA-50PH with tail No. 003 and 004 will touch down at the Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga at about 11:30 a.m.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will attend the arrival ceremony, according to Lt. Col. Antonio Francisco Jr., director of the Air Force’s public information office.
The first batch of supersonic jets arrived in the Philippines on November 28, 2015. The remaining batches are expected to be delivered in 2017.
The Department of National Defense (DND) sealed the jet acquisition contract with KAI at a cost of P18.9 billion.|
It originally planned to procure a squadron or 24 jets but reduced it to 12 because of funding problem.
President Rodrigo Duterte had said the acquisition of fighter jets by the previous administration was a waste of money. Military and defense officials said Duterte wants to prioritize the internal security operations.
The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to have supersonic fighter jets when it acquired 23 brand-new F-5 jets in 1965 from the US under a bilateral assistance pact.
The FA-50s will replace the F-5 jet fighters, which were retired in 2004.