✈ PH Air Force fifth, sixth supersonic jets arrive todayPhilippine Air Force's FA-50PH nos. 005 and 006 upon arrival in Taiwan en route to the Philippines [Han chia ho Peter]
Arrival ceremony for Philippine Air Force’s fifth and sixth South Korea-made FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” (005 and 006) was conducted today in Clark Air Base, Pampanga. The ceremony started at 11 am. FA-50PH with tail number 005 touched down 11:05 am, while 006 touched down 11:07.
The Philippines has 12-plane order from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) worth PHP18.9 billion. FA-50PH aircraft are Mach 1.5 capable.
The 1st and 2nd FA-50PHs arrived in November 2015, while the 4th and 3rd arrived a year after. The remaining six aircraft on order are expected to be delivered within this year.
PAF’s FA-50PHs were recently blooded in combat during the surgical air and artillery strike that wounded Abu Sayyaf Group commander Isnilon Hapilon last January 26.
The FA-50PH has a top speed of Mach 1.5 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 cannons.
It will act as the country’s interim fighter until the Air Force gets enough experience in operating fast jet assets and budget allocation for more capable fighter aircraft.