Oct 18, 2013
South Korea To Export Light Attack Jets to Philippines
President Park Geun-hye and her Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino III signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for greater cooperation in the arms industry as part of efforts to further cement economic ties between the two nations.
Seoul and Manila have been negotiating the export of the FA-50, a light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer aircraft jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).
The FA-50 is armed with air-to-air, air-to-surface missiles and machine guns, as well as precision-guided bombs, such as joint direct-attack munitions and sensor-fused weapons. Fitted with Israel Elta System’s EL/M-2032 PULSE Doppler radar with a range of 100 kilometers, the jet is suitable for close-air support missions.
Indonesia was the first customer of the FA-50 variant with a 2011 order for 16 T-50i planes. KAI delivered four T-50i aircraft to the Indonesian air force last month.
The Philippines wants to purchase 12 FA-50s to respond to potential territorial disputes with China. Manila has no fighter aircraft available after the retirement of F-5s in 2005.