2 new fighter jets arrive in Clark Air Base

Gracie Rutao, ABS CBN News

Posted at May 10 2017 07:14 PM

Two newly-acquired Philippine Air Force (PAF) fighter jets arrived in Clark Air Base, Pampanga from South Korea on Wednesday, the fifth pair to be flown to the Philippines out of a fleet of 12 aircraft. 

South Korea's defense attaché to the Philippines formally turned over to PAF the pair of FA-50 Fighting Eagle jets, which arrived in the country on April 26.

"Based doon sa assessment natin, yung FA-50, lumabas siya na pinakamataas sa assessment namin sa lahat ng mga lead in fighter aircraft, number 1 supersonic siya, meron siyang radar, capable na rin siya sa mga bagogn ammunitions such as missiles and laser guided missiles,” said Col. Fabian Pedregosa, Deputy Wing Commander of the Air Defense Wing.

He said the acquisition has returned PAF to the supersonic era, with pilots currently training how to handle larger aircraft.

"Hindi naman malayo, parang nasa beginning stage bago tayo pumunta sa multi-roll fighter aircrafts. Kumbaga parang nasa 3.5 category pero fourth generation na ang tech[nology] niya,” he said.

Two new airplanes will arrive on the last week of May or first week of June to complete the 12 jets, which was acquired for an P18.9 billion budget by the Aquino administration.

"After [makumpleto] ng 12, siguro magpapadami muna tayo ng piloto, magtatraining muna tayo then baka we'll proceed with the multi-roll fighter aircraft,” Pedregosa said.

The training of pilots, spare equipment and other parts needed to maintain aircraft are included in PAF's budget.