FA-50 Fighter Jets arriving in Philippines in 2015

Two of twelve FA-50 Fighter Jets will be arriving in the Philippines in 2015, President Benigno Aquino III announced Tuesday, July 1.

FA-50 Fighter Jet

In his speech during the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base in Pampanga, the chief executive said the lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea will be used to patrol the country's air space. His administration eyes full delivery of the dozen aircrafts in 2017.

Aquino, who praised PAF for its role in the government’s response during the Zamboanga siege and Typhoon Yolanda devastation, added that the government also targets to buy 8 combat utility helicopters, 2 long-range patrol aircraft, 6 close-air support aircraft, radar systems, and other equipment that will aid air force personnel capabilities.

The President also mentioned that the PAF has 3 functioning C-130 cargo planes, has acquired 18 basic trainer aircrafts, combat utility helicopters, 20 upgraded MD-520 MG helicopters, 4 UH-1 helicopters, and is awaiting the delivery of 17 more UH-1 helicopters this year.

Aquino added that in the past four years, the PAF has been able to aggressively push its modernization program, part of which is the purchase of FA-50 fighter jets.