MANILA --- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Thursday said the government is looking to acquire about a dozen more FA-50 training aircraft from South Korea.
Lorenzana made the remark during an ambush interview during the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Symposium 2018 held at the Commissioned Officers Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
“We were able to discuss that during the senior leaders (meeting) but that is what the President (Rodrigo Duterte) wants when he saw how effective it was,” Lorenzana said.
“We may acquire an additional 12 but it depends on what kind of build up the Air Force wants,” he added.
Prior to assuming the Presidency on July 1, 2016, Duterte said the Aquino administration’s purchase of 12 FA-50 lead in fighter trainer jets from South Korea is just a waste of money as the air assets are only used for ceremonies.
However, the Chief Executive had a change of heart after seeing the usefulness and effectiveness of the jets especially during the air campaign to liberate Marawi City from the hands of Maute terrorists.
Lorenzana in the same interview said that South Korea has not pledged anything but they are prepared to do so.
“There were lots of things discuss not only the helicopters but also firearms, they want to transfer technology so that we can also produce our military equipment,” he said.
The arrival of the planes is part of the PAF’s purchase of 12 fighter jets worth P18.9 billion from Korea.
The PAF said the FA-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one-and-half times the top speed of sound and is capable to be fitted with air-to-air missiles.