Thursday, January 31, 2013

F/A-50 to develop PHL external defense capability further - PAF

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 31): F/A-50 to develop PHL external defense capability further - PAF

The F/A-50 "Golden Eagle" the Philippine Air Force will soon acquire from the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will greatly boost the country's capability to protect its territories from intruders. Air Force spokesperson Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said Thursday: "(These aircraft) will allow us to protect our territories from intruders and their commissioning in Philippines service will greatly boost our external defense capabilities."

 Okol said the new and supersonic jet aircraft will definitely advance the Armed Forces goal of having credible and external defense. "This is good news and we at the PAF are very excited at this development considering our preponderance for internal defense for the past 11 years," Okol stressed. The PAF decommissioned its Northrop F-5 A/B "Freedom Fighters" last 2005.

Last Wednesday, the Dept. of National Defense announced that it has gotten the green light to start pre-negotiations with KAI.

He added once the final contract on the F/A-50 is signed, the PAF can then go ahead developing its curriculum for supersonic jet operations. These include training, technical support and possible weapons for the jet aircraft.  The country is expected to spend P18 billion if this aircraft will be selected as the PAF's next supersonic fighter plane. The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50. The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.

The altitude limit is 14,600 meters, and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service. There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters, five in the fuselage and two in the wings. An additional 1,710 liters of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks. Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.

The F/A-50 "Golden Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI. The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner. The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5. Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN of thrust with afterburner.

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