Category Archives: AIM-7 Sparrow

AIM-7 Sparrow Missiles for the FA-50?

(Revised September 24, 2015. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history)

An AIM-7 Sparrow Missile. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.
An AIM-7 Sparrow Missile. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Shortly after the contract signing for the purchase of twelve FA-50 Fighting Eagles by the Philippines from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) last March (2014), the Department of National Defense (DND) thru its Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez announced plans to “upgrade” the FA-50s so these will have the capability to carry and fire Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles.1 This came as a pleasant surprise to me as it means more capability for the FA-50s we are buying.

BVR missiles are Air-to-Air missiles that have ranges of at least 36 km.2 Note that the FA-50s have NOT been qualified yet for the use of any BVR missiles, in fact the only air to air missiles the plane is currently qualified for are the AIM-9 Sidewinder Short Range Air to Air Missile (SRAAM) versions up to the AIM-9M version.3 South Korea, Indonesia and Iraq have also bought FA-50s, but if this plan pushes thru then we will have the most capable FA-50s in the world so far.
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