Tuesday, September 3, 2013

F/A-50 procurement process still ongoing despite air crash

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 3): F/A-50 procurement process still ongoing despite air crash

Despite the crash of F/A-50 "Golden Eagle" jet aircraft off Gwanju City, South Korea last week, Defense Dept. spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez said the procurement process for the plane is still ongoing.

The accident is the second one involving KAI's F/A-50 aircraft those basic version is called the T-50.

The first crash took place last November 2012 which the jet crashing into a mountain in South Korea during a routine training flight.

Galvez added they will coordinate with the Korea Aerospace Industries to get a copy of the accident report, once completed, to determine whether the cause of the crash is human or technical error.

He declined to state on what stage the F/A-50 program is now on but stressed that it is nearing its "tail-end".

Two F/A-50 are expected to be in Philippine Air Force (PAF) service by the end of 2014.

This was earlier disclosed by PAF chief Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz.

"Our target date is it should have at least two initially by the end of fourth quarter of 2014 and then the rest would be the following six months thereafter," he added.

The Philippines has earlier expressed its commitment to acquire 12 F/A-50 jet aircraft from South Korea defense manufacturer KAI.

"We’ve programmed 12 and this is already approved in principle and we’re at this point in time we’re now going into the detailed training of our team with the Korean team," Dela Cruz said.

Once the initial two F/A-50 jet aircraft is delivered by the end of 2014, remaining 10 aircraft will be delivered in staggered basis.

This aircraft order is worth P18.9 billion.

Delivery is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016.

The F/A-50 is also known as the TA-50.

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 (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.

There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.

An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) 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 (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner.


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