PHILIPPINE Air Force (PAF) pilots will have the chance to train for FA-50 warplanes in South Korea as soon as negotiations between the two countries are completed this month.
The training is part of the program in the contract, which the Philippine government is expected to finalize with the Korea Aerospace Industries.
“As far as the fighters are concerned, it’s part of the program and package,” PAF spokesperson Col. Ernesto Miguel Okol said.
The FA-50 is the best choice of the government for the upgrade of the poorly equipped PAF.
“Having the FA-50 will prepare us for the multi-role fighter,” Okol explained.
Okol, an F5 pilot, said the training would most probably be in South Korea.
The FA-50, which can carry two crewmembers, is a light combat aircraft, and also a light combat version of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft.
The wide range of its weapon systems allows the FA-50 to counter multiple threats.
The acquisition of the 12 lead-in trainer fighter jets from Korea will cost the country P18.9 billion.
The upgrade is under the P85-billion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program aimed at giving the military a “minimum credible defense capability,” according to reports.
The government will also procure combat utility choppers and naval anti-submarine helicopters.