Gimhae Air Base, Busan, Republic of Korea
12 December 2014

Before flying back to Manila, President Benigno S. Aquino III viewed a model of the FA-50 aircraft, the light combat version of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50 Golden Eagle light attack aircraft that the Philippines purchased from Korea.

The 12 lead-in trainer fighter jets tagged as “supersonic” and “state of the art” has a total amount of P18.9 billion and is said to be able to prepare pilots for more advanced aircrafts.

“Kunyari you want to check on something, this is a jet, it gets there quick. Currently, we have very ancient planes like the Nomad na at ano pa ‘yung Islander yata ‘yung pangalan na nagha-hag lang ng coastline medyo parang… Kung tama ang tanda ko it’s between four to eight hours e. Ipapadala mo ‘yung tao doon or ‘yung eroplano, babalik ‘yung negative or baka ‘yung card at para mai-print mo is another “X” amount of time… So ang purpose nitong mga planes na ito is to retain those abilities and also this is the — ang tawag nila ‘lead-in’ parang ito ‘yung trainers for that whole concept of having fighters,” President Aquino explained.

Witnessed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Lee Hyuk, the signing of the memorandum of agreement for the purchase of the aircrafts took place at the Camp General Emillio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on March 28 this year. Then Armed Forces Chief General Emmanuel Bautista signed for the Philippines while Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency President and CEO Young Ho Oh and KAI’s Yong signed for the side of Korea.

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