Philippines' first 2
FA-50PH jet fighters arrive in Clark
CLARK AIR BASE, PAMPANGA, Nov. 28 (PNA) --- A deep-throated roar in the
sky heralded the arrival of the country's first two FA-50PHs and return of
the supersonic capability of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Saturday
The two aircraft, with tail numbers OO1 and 002, landed at Clark Air Base,
Angeles City, Pampanga at 10:23 a.m. and 10:24 a.m., respectively.
The two FA-50PHs left Kaohsiung, Taiwan around 9:05 a.m. Saturday. The
planes made a refuelling stop there after taking-off from Sacheon, South
Korea 9 a.m. Friday.
The two FA-50PHs with their two SIAI-Marchetti S-211 escorts made two
high-speed fly-bys above Clark Air Base before landing much to the delight
of the assembled PAF personnel and media practitioners present.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who was
present to witness the arrival of the jets, said the deliveries of the two
FA-50PHs marked the return of the PAF to the supersonic age.
"We’re glad we’re finally back to supersonic age," he added.
Supersonic refers to having aircraft capable of flying faster than sound or
750 miles per hour.
The PAF's supersonic capability was eliminated in 2005 when it was forced to
retire its aging Northrop F-5 "Tiger" jet fighters due to lack of spare
The planes will undergo acceptance flight and testing before being
commissioned into PAF service.
The two FA-50PHs were supposed to arrive this Friday but got delayed due to
inclement weather in South Korea.
The DND has signed a 12-plane contract worth PHP18.9 billion with Korea
Aerospace Industries (KAI) last March 2014.
The F/A-50 (the other designation for the FA-50PH) has a top speed of Mach
1.5 (990 miles per hour) or one and a half times the speed of sound and is
capable of being fitted air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9
"Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles aside from light automatic
It will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines get
enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the
acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.
The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and
they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and
the range of weapons.
KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a
starting point for the development of the F/A-50.
The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy
developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the
pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with
ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.
The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed
to last 8,000 hours of service.
There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US
gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.
An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the
three external fuel tanks.
Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic
variants white, black, and yellow.
The F/A-50 uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine
license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital
engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and Korean
The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and
Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with