During the campaign period for the 2016 Presidential elections, one joke I would occasionally come out with on my page went something like, “oh don’t worry, if Rodrigo Duterte becomes President, our Air Force would eventually end up with the JF-17 Thunder as its Multi-Role Fighter (MRF), ha-ha-ha”.
And then the May 2016 elections came, and he won. By a fricking landslide. Five months into the new administration, in December 2016 Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a newspaper interview that they were looking at importing weapons from Pakistan where the JF-17 is currently being made.1 Note that Dominguez is also one of Duterte’s closest advisers, being a childhood friend and former classmate.2 So the jokes came out again. Continue reading The JF-17 Thunder for the Philippine Air Force?→
One thing about having an active insurgency in our midst is that we can at least use our weapons in actual combat conditions. Of course that is not necessarily something to celebrate about, but just trying to make the most out of a bad situation.
Like in the case of the FA-50PH Fighting Eagles that we bought from the South Korean company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), for example. Out of all the countries that has bought the FA-50 and its variants, the Philippines is the first and so far the only country to have used it in real combat. Continue reading The FA-50PH in Combat – Bomb Delivery→
In celebration of the arrival of the Philippine Air Force’s (PhAF) FA-50PH Fighting Eagle, I decided to come up with this blog detailing some interesting facts and trivia about it. To start things off, the FA-50PH is the first BRAND NEW Fighter Aircraft procurement by the Republic of the Philippines in over 50 years, or half a century. The last time we bought brand such an aircraft was way back in 1962 under the Administration of President Diosdado Macapagal when we bought the F-5A Freedom Fighter. Between 1965 to 2015, we did buy more fighter aircraft like more F-5s and the F-8H Crusader, but these were all in second-hand refurbished condition.
Of course the FA-50PH is not really strictly a “Fighter Aircraft”, it is officially classified as an Advanced Jet Trainer or a Lead In Fighter Trainer, but it does have Combat as a SECONDARY capability, and while we are waiting to buy more capable Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) aircraft, these FA-50PHs will be pushed to conduct Combat missions and will be our main Combat aircraft on a temporary basis (or at least I hope it will only be temporary). Continue reading Welcoming the FA-50PH Fighting Eagle – Facts and Trivia→
With the possibility of the Philippine government and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) not agreeing to terms for the purchase of the FA-50 looming,1 it is time to take a look at other alternatives for the FA-50 in case the deal really doesn’t push thru. The main rival of the FA-50 / T-50 series in the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) market is the M-346, hence I wanted to take a look at how it would fare in a head to head comparison with the FA-50.
The M-346 is made by Italy’s “Alenia Aermacchi” company, and the aircraft design is based on the Russian Yakolev Yak-130 Aircraft. It is described as an AJT whose prototype first flew in 2003. None are currently in service although they are scheduled to enter service with the various air forces starting in 2014, with Italy, Singapore and Israel having a combined total order of 57 aircraft as of 2013. This aircraft is officially and optimistically nicknamed, the “Master“.2 Continue reading The FA-50 Golden Eagle versus the M-346 Master→
Revised January 20, 2014. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history
In a speech at the Manila Overseas Press Club Forum last August of 2013, Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz announced that formal negotiations for the acquisition of twelve FA-50 Golden Eagle (or Geagle) from the manufacturer Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) formally started the previous month, July of 2013. He also said that their target is to have two Geagles delivered by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014 with the rest to be delivered in the middle of 2015.1 However, five months on and still no contract between KAI and the Philippines has been finalized.
Revised November 25, 2013. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history
It now looks like the Philippine Air Force’s (PhAF) acquisition of the FA-50 Golden Eagle is a GO, and all that is missing now is the formal announcement, which is likely to be done during PNoy’s State Visit to South Korea on Oct. 17-18, 2013. A critical clue to this is thru the PhAF Air Defense Wing’s Journal announcing that, “… the initial delivery of 2 new fighter aircraft in 2014 …”, and they then go on to show this training plan, citing the FA-50 SPECIFICALLY:
Of course a lot could still happen between now and the formal announcement, but as of now I think the FA-50 deal is 99% sure already barring any major catastrophe or event that will affect the announcement. Hence, let’s take a close look at how the FA-50 compares with major threats it could be facing, like China’s SU-30MKK/MK2 Flanker-G fighter aircraft, for example. Continue reading The FA-50 Golden Eagle versus the SU-30MKK/MK2 Flanker-G→
Revised June 2, 2016. See bottom of the page for the complete revision history
The Department of National Defense (DND) has indicated the intention to buy the FA-50 Golden Eagle (or Geagle), but some individuals in the Philippine defense sector has expressed doubts about its capability as a combat aircraft. Hence out of curiousity I wanted to compare it to a more popular combat aircraft like the F-16, for example, from which it was actually based from.
The F-16 was made by the American company “General Dynamics”, and first entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1978. It is described as an all-weather Multi Role Fighter (MRF) and one of the most successful modern aircraft designs as eventually over 4,500 were built and went into service into more than 26 countries worldwide. Continue reading How Does the FA-50 Golden Eagle Compare to the F-16C Block 52+ Viper?→