Korea to export TA-50 jets to Philippines

MANILA - The Philippines air force has decided to purchase 12 TA-50 trainer jets from South Korea in a project worth nearly $360 million(S$457 million), a Philippines broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The aircraft produced by Korea Aerospace Industries will be delivered within next year, ABS-CBN reported citing air force officials. TA-50 trainer jet. (Defense Acquisition Program Administration)

The trainer jets are priced at 1.25 billion pesos (S$37.8 million) each, it added.

Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration, however, said that although it was working on exporting the TA-50 to the Philippines it has yet to receive any confirmation on the issue.

According to reports, the Philippine government is conducting a 70 billion peso program to update its military's equipment, and a significant proportion of the budget is to be directed into bolstering the air force.

The TA-50 is a weaponry-equipped trainer jet with attack and operational capabilities matching those of the KF-16 fighter jets operated by the Korean Air Force.

The TA-50 is fitted with the F404-GE102 engine used in the F-18 fighter jet, and is equipped with digital flight control systems and radar.

Seoul's Air Force currently operates 21 TA-50 trainer fighter jets, and the first batch of Air Force pilots trained in the aircraft will go into active service at the end of the year.

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