Monday, August 4, 2014

PAF to buy affordable yet best combat aircraft

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 4): PAF to buy affordable yet best combat aircraft

With two South Korean F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" jet aircraft expected to arrive and be in commission by 2015, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced that it will soon form an assessment team that will sift through the technical specifications of the various fighter aircraft available and decide which one is the best and affordable for the country.

This was stressed by Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya, PAF spokesperson, in a statement to the PNA.

"There are several fighter aircraft available in the market that can fit the requirement for future fighter aircraft of the PAF," he added.

But Canaya said that an assessment team will need to look and evaluate the specification of these fighter aircraft .

"An assessment team (is needed) to determine the technical specifications which will be the basis for selection. At present, we don't have the team in place yet but (it) can be expected soon now that the F/A 50 lead-in fighter aircraft is expected to be delivered beginning next year," he added.

This is in wake of reports that the Swedish JAAB JAS-39 "Gripen" light engine mult-role jet aircraft is being considered by the Philippine defense establishment as the next jet fighters of the PAF.

The "Gripen" has a delta wing and canard configuration with relaxed stability design and fly-by-wire flight controls. It is powered by the Volvo RM12, and has a top speed of Mach 2.

The "Gripen" was designed to be flexible as it had been anticipated that newly developed sensors, computers, and armaments would need to be integrated as technology advances.

It can be armed with a variety of air-to-air, air-to-surface missiles and automatic cannons.

Production models are priced at an estimated USD68 million per unit.

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