January 31, 2013 11:49
The Philippines is to buy 12 FA-50 light fighter jets from Korea, AFP reported on Wednesday.
The jets aim to reinforce the island country's military capability due to a territorial dispute over the Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Island in Chinese in the South China Sea.
"The FA-50s will be the first fighter jets to be operated by the Philippine Air Force," AFP reported. The Philippines has had no fighter jets "since it retired the last of its U.S.-designed F-5 fighters in 2005."
Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino, said the jets would be used for "training, interdiction and disaster response" and to "survey areas." He added the purchase is "not aimed at any particular country."
The FA-50 light fighter jet is an improved version of the supersonic T-50 advanced trainer. Equipped with a precision surveillance radar with a 100 km range, the jet can fly at up to 1.5 times the speed of sound.
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