THE Philippine Air Force is set to receive on Wednesday the 3rd batch of fighter jets, Col. Antonio Francisco, PAF spokesman, announced on Tuesday.
The two FA-50s, Francisco said, will be delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) at the Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga. This will bring to six the number of fighter jets now in the Air Force inventory and the aircraft are expected to boost its capability.
KAI is expected to complete the delivery of the remaining six fighter jets within the year, according to the PAF spokesman.
Late last month, the first and second batch of FA-50s were used in surgical air strikes in Butig, Lanao del Sur that resulted in the killing of 15 members of the terrorist Maute Group.
When asked if the Air Force is planning to acquire more fighter jets after the completion of the delivery of the FA-50s, Francisco said the matter would have to be discussed first.
The first and second batches of supersonic jets arrived in the Philippines on November 28, 2015 and on December 1, 2016.
The Department of National Defense (DND) sealed the jet acquisition contract with KAI for P18.9 billion.|
It originally planned to procure a squadron or 24 jets but reduced it to 12 because of funding problem.
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. FERNAN MARASIGAN